Feb 2, 2009

Stuart Bypass site office commissioning

Stuart Bypass site office commissioning

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

February 2 2009

Preliminary design is now finalised for the Stuart Bypass and construction of stage one will be completed by the end of the year, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese and Main Roads Minister Warren Pitt announced today.

Mr Pitt was in Townsville today to officially commission and open the Stuart Bypass project site office.

Mr Albanese said the Stuart Bypass was the first stage of the $190 million Townsville Port Access Road project, to which the Australian and Queensland governments have both committed $95 million. The project is designed to meet the growing freight and infrastructure needs in the region.

“The new Townsville Port Access Road will directly link the Flinders and Bruce highways to the Port of Townsville, which is one of Queensland’s largest industrial ports and is an important driver of economic growth in North Queensland,” Mr Albanese said.

“Trade through the port has increased dramatically over the past 10 years in response to increased industrial and mining development in the region.

“This rate of growth is expected to continue over the next 20 to 25 years, so providing adequate road and rail access to the port to support growth is essential.”

Mr Pitt said commissioning the site office was an excellent way to acknowledge the benefits of the bypass construction, which will provide a new 2.5 kilometre road connecting the Flinders and Bruce highways, allowing heavy vehicles to bypass residential suburbs in the region.

“I am pleased to officially commission this facility, which allows the project design and construction teams to remain on-site while undertaking the necessary work to deliver the bypass project,” Mr Pitt said.

“The facilities are especially important for major infrastructure projects such as this, so the designers and construction managers are continuously aware of the project’s progress and can immediately act on any challenges that may arise.

“The site office also maintains a meeting room complex to allow for on-site staff training and development.

“A training facility will be built shortly with joint funding provided by Abi Group, Seymour Whyte, RoadTek and Main Roads to enable convenient and important on-site induction training to take place for all staff involved in the Townsville Port Access Road project.

“Following the completion of project, the office will be taken over by RoadTek and Main Roads to be used for both regional training and administration work, ensuring the office remains useful well into the future.”

Mr Pitt said Main Roads was committed to improving road safety and developed the Stuart Bypass section in conjunction with future planning for the Bruce Highway to ensure the road network continued to operate safely and efficiently.