Budget to restore Bruce Highway upgrades

Federal Budget to kickstart upgrades to the Bruce Highway that were delayed due to flooding in Queensland earlier this year

May 9, 2011

Tomorrow’s Federal Budget will kickstart key upgades to the Bruce Highway that were delayed due to torrential flooding in Queensland earlier this year.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese says the funding for the five projects, which totals $325 million, will be reinstated after it was deferred in January to pay for the damage caused by the floods.

The projects include the duplication of the Bruce between Vantassel Street and Flinders Highway, realigning and raising the highway between Sandy Corner and Collinsons Lagoon and safety improvements at the Burdekin Road intersection.

The Budget will also set aside funding for the realignment of the highway north of Gin Gin between Cabbage Tree Creek and Carmen Road as well as Back Creek Range. The $86 million upgrade to interchanges between Caboolture and Caloundra will also resume.

Albanese says the Federal Government is committed to funding upgrades to the Bruce Highway. The Government decided to recommence the projects after Premier Anna Bligh notified it her administration had the resources to complete reconstruction efforts and deliver the scheduled works.

Queensland Roads Minister Craig Wallace says the announcement is good news for Queensland, especially those in the central northern and far northern parts of the state.

"I applaud the decision by the Gillard Government to reinstate these five Bruce Highway projects," he says.

"I will work closely with Mr Albanese to get these five projects up and running and to continue the vital work of upgrading the Bruce."

The projects are part of the $1.1 billion in upgrades to 158km of the Bruce Highway, including the dangerous stretch of road from Cooroy to Curra.

"After more than a decade of neglect by the Howard Government, we are getting on with the job of building a better, safer Bruce Highway," Albanese says.

Following the floods, which left a clean-up bill of about $5 billion, the Federal Government announced a one-off flood levy to raise $1.8 billion for recovery efforts.

Slated to begin next financial year, those earning between $50,001 and $100,000 will pay a 0.5 percent levy while those with incomes higher than $100,000 will pay 1 percent.

People earning less than $50,000 and those affected by the floods will not pay.

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