The Queensland Government has released its $29.7 billion roads and transport investment plan, prioritising regional projects and road safety programs.
The Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) 2022-23 outlines current and planned investments over the next four years.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said the seventh record roads and transport budget in a row is helping to build an even more impressive pipeline of projects.
“Queensland is growing rapidly, with our world leading pandemic response making our state the place to be, but we know we need infrastructure to support this growth and that’s what this budget delivers for Queenslanders,” Mr Bailey said.
“The investment will drive the Queensland Government’s plan for shifting from economic recovery to future growth and prosperity, supporting jobs and delivering critical infrastructure to keep our state moving.
“This year’s $29.7 billion in road and transport infrastructure investment plan will support 25,200 direct jobs, helping to promote more jobs in more industries, all while delivering better transport options for Queenslanders.”
Mr Bailey said the budget includes major investment in south-east Queensland roads.
“Works are ramping up on the M1, Bruce Highway, and on the $2.1 billion Coomera Connector,” Mr Bailey said.
“Driving from Coolangatta to Coolum, Queenslanders can see just how many major upgrades are going on through that corridor.
“From the $1 billion Varsity Lakes to Tugun M1 upgrade and the $1 billion Daisy Hill to Logan Motorway M1 upgrade, to the $662.5 million Caboolture to Steve Irwin Way Bruce Highway upgrade, we’re delivering more lanes, better interchanges, and safer conditions across the south-east’s major roads.
“On top of that, we’re building a brand new highway, the Coomera Connector, which will deliver a second M1 between Logan and the Gold Coast, and will be the biggest road project in Queensland’s history.
“That’s the major work we are delivering right now, while also planning for the future with a range of planning studies and business cases funded through this budget to detail what’s needed next across the region.”
Funding regional corridors
Queensland Assistant Minister Regional Roads and Train Manufacturing, Bruce Saunders, said major regional corridors such as the Bruce Highway are getting further significant investment, improving capacity, flood immunity and road safety.
“More than half of this record-breaking investment will directly support regional Queensland, with over $18 billion worth of road and transport projects being delivered outside the Brisbane region,” Mr Saunders said.
“The pipeline of investment outlined in this plan will support an average of 16,220 direct jobs across regional Queensland, stepping up our focus on supporting regional growth.
“This includes funding for major regional projects like the $1.06 billion Rockhampton Ring Road, the $1 billion Cooroy to Curra Bruce Highway upgrade, the $481 million Cairns Southern Access Corridor Bruce Highway upgrade, the $350 million Mackay Port Access road, the $336 million Tiaro Bypass on the Bruce and the $230 million Townsville Ring Road (Stage 5).
“It also includes $280 million over four years for the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme which increases our commitment to work with local governments on local road and transport networks in regional areas.”
Road safety programs
Mr Bailey said $1.49 billion was allocated to targeted road safety programs, which was additional to road safety improvements delivered as part of major programs and projects.
“Improving road safety to reduce road trauma and save lives remains our highest priority,” Mr Bailey said.
“This investment continues on a legacy of constant improvement through our various safety programs, supported by our investment in infrastructure which improves road conditions.”
Mr Bailey said the budget also meant the Queensland Government will be delivering $266.2 million for active transport infrastructure.
“This includes projects such as the Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads Cycleway, the Veloway 1 O’Keefe Street bridge, active transport path and crossing along Gympie – Brooloo Road, and the New England Highway Bikeway, Highfields to Toowoomba (Stage 2),” Mr Bailey said.
“This is in addition to other projects that provide improvements to the active transport network, such as infrastructure upgrades associated with Coomera Connector Stage 1, Centenary Bridge upgrade and various projects on the M1 and Bruce Highway.
“Queensland boaties can also look forward to an investment of $185.3 million towards maintenance and upgrades of their local facilities, including boat ramps, floating walkways, pontoons and dredging projects.
“This year’s QTRIP really highlights the important work we are delivering across the state, making Queensland the place everyone wants to be.”
Mr Bailey also noted the timing of the 2022 Federal Election meant QTRIP had been developed in advance of the incoming Federal Government’s formal updates to the National Partnership Agreement on Land Transport Infrastructure Projects Schedule for Queensland.
Mr Bailey said the Queensland Government would work closely with the Federal Government in coming months to incorporate new commitments into the infrastructure pipeline such as additional federal funding for the Bruce Highway, Kuranda Range, Boundary Road level crossing (Coopers Plains) and Ipswich Motorway planning.