Newman to push for Toowoomba range funding


Queensland wants the feds to fund a second Toowoomba range crossing to allow trucks to avoid the city

By Brad Gardner | August 2, 2012

Queensland will seek money from the Federal Government to build a second Toowoomba range crossing to allow trucks to bypass the city.

Premier Campbell Newman says his government’s funding submission to Infrastructure Australia, to be lodged tomorrow, will identify a second range as one of three priority projects which should be funded.

"The new route is proposed between Helidon Spa and the Warrego Highway interchange at Charlton and will play a pivotal role in the national transport network and the developing energy sector of the Surat Basin," Newman says.

"The Warrego Highway is a nationally significant freight route and allowing heavy vehicles to bypass Toowoomba will significantly improve the livability of this major regional city."

The submission will also seek extra funding for the Bruce Highway and an inner-city rail package for Brisbane.

Newman says his government has committed $1 billion towards upgrading the highway on the condition the Federal Government brings forward expenditure for the route.

"The Bruce Highway is the main artery of Queensland’s transport network and it is critical for the efficient, reliable and safe movement of people and freight," he says.

"Fixing the Bruce Highway is my government’s top priority, and Queensland’s submission to Infrastructure Australia seeks funding to progressively upgrade this highway."

Newman established the Bruce Highway Crisis Management Group earlier this year and tasked it with providing him a 10-year action plan within six months.

The group includes federal Liberal-National politicians, Queensland Police, the RACQ and Hawkins Transport CEO Roz Shaw.

Newman says the highway needs more overtaking lanes, rest areas and projects to improve flood immunity.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says $2.8 billion is being pumped into the Bruce Highway over seven years.

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