Roads Summit for North Queensland Mayors

Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace will host a Roads Summit for North Queensland mayors early next month

February 24, 2010

State Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace will host a Roads Summit for North Queensland mayors early next month to focus on upgrading the 760-km stretch between Sarina and Cairns.

He told State Parliament this week the Bligh Government had "hit the ground running" since the last election.

Wallace says road construction workers "had their hard hats on from Cairns to Coolangatta, building better roads and delivering a better deal for Queenslanders".

"We're investing in more than roads. We're investing in Queenslanders - in mums and dads, families and young people who rely on a first-class road network to get from A to B - from Atherton to Babinda, from Ayr to Bowen and from Aramac to Barcaldine," he says.

"That's why I'm working with the Mayors in North Queensland to secure their support for continued federal investment in our northern national road network.

"I will be hosting a Roads Summit for North Queensland mayors early next month.

"Our focus will be on the 760km section of the Bruce Highway between Sarina and Cairns.

"It follow s an effective partnership I struck with North Queensland Mayors in 2007 to secure additional investment in the Bruce Highway.

"It was a win for North Queensland. Around $1 billion was made available for the stretch between Sarina and Cairns, with 15 projects attracting mostly full or joint funding."

Stage one of the Stuart Bypass, the $190 million Townsville Port Access Road, was recently completed, Wallace points out.

In April last year, the new, $48 million, high-level Mulgrave River Bridge, was completed, eight months ahead of schedule.

Work will start this year on the $90 million Cardwell Range realignment and the $110 million, jointly funded, Douglas Arterial duplication.

"We've made excellent progress in implementing safety measures such as overtaking lanes, audible line marking and rest areas - all up $65 million," he adds.

"We want to maintain that momentum and I will be fighting to secure more dollars for the north from the Federal Government.

"It means jobs for workers in road construction and it comes at a time when jobs and job security are more important than ever before."

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