Mar 5, 2010

Townsville economy receives ‘arterial’ injection

Townsville economy receives ‘arterial’ injection

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

March 5 2010

New infrastructure which will support Townville’s growing population and expanding industrial base is on the way, with the duplication of the Douglas Arterial set to begin next month following the appointment of a preferred builder.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Queensland Roads Minister Craig Wallace today announced the AbiGroup Seymour Whyte Joint Venture will do the detailed design work and widen the road from two to four lanes.

“This project is what our Nation Building Program is all about, putting Queenslanders to work building the road infrastructure vital to our nation’s long term economic prosperity,” said Mr Albanese.

“What’s more, the decision to bring forward funding in our Economic Stimulus Plan allowed us to start the necessary planning and preconstruction work last January, with the project now expected to be completed earlier than originally scheduled.

“All up, we’re investing an unprecedented $8.6 billion to modernise Queensland’s road and rail infrastructure, with the Douglas Arterial duplication and the new Townsville Port Access Road great examples of the Rudd and Bligh Labor governments working together to make sure North Queensland gets its fair share.”

The $110 million duplication project is being funded equally by the Rudd and Bligh Labor governments, with the work expected to be completed in 2012, weather permitting.

In Townsville for today’s Roads Summit with North Queensland Mayors, Mr Wallace said the project couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s about planning for the future. We’re building better roads to meet the region’s future growth, and we’re generating jobs at a time when jobs and job security are more important than ever before,” said Mr Wallace.

Mr Wallace said the Roads Summit was part of Premier Bligh’s Growth Summit, an initiative that seeks to involve Queenslanders in shaping their State’s future.

“With 2,000 people moving to Queensland each week, it’s important we plan now for future growth. Townsville is a key target in our plan to map out a better, brighter future for all those new arrivals,” said Mr Wallace.

“That’s why today’s announcement is a real shot in the arm for this growing region, delivering jobs and a road network second to none. It doesn’t get better than that.”

Mr Wallace said his Department had made good progress on this important road project.

“Tenders were called in September 2009 and shortlisted in November 2009. In the meantime, we’ve got on with doing the necessary planning and preconstruction work,” said Mr Wallace.

These works included geotechnical investigations, drilling foundations for the projects four bridges, and preliminary planning and design. Pipes, culverts and bridge piles are currently being manufactured in readiness for the start of major construction activities.