$5.92m to seal freight route in tropical north

Ootann Road will receive a further $5.92 million in government funding that will go towards further sealing and widening works.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce says Ootann Road is a strategic freight corridor that connects northern Australia with key markets in the south, supporting industries that include agriculture, mining and tourism.

“This road is well used by truckies, is a vital connection for local communities and allows tourists to come up and experience what this beautiful region has to offer,” Joyce said.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz adds that the funding is part of a broader $50 million investment to upgrade the Cairns to Northern Territory corridor under the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative (ROSI).

“I have personally experienced the unsealed sections of the Ootann Road, as a former transport operator they were some of the roughest, harshest road conditions I have ever experienced, I am pleased we are partnering with local government to build a better Ootann and improve this important freight road,” Buchholz said.

“Following the tireless advocacy of local mayors and former Mayor Tom Gilmore, the Ootann Road has been placed on the national agenda and under the Morrison Government is attracting significant investment and this new ROSI funding will mean $7.4 million in investment, split 80:20 with local government.

“Our Government has committed a total of $904 million to upgrade seven key road corridors in Queensland over 10-years under the ROSI program, to make a significant difference for freight and motorists in the state.”

Mayor of Tablelands Regional Council Rod Marti says the latest round of funding will help ensure access during the wet season.

“The unsealed sections of Ootann Road are prone to flooding, which is currently preventing year-round use of the route and posing a barrier to business and economic growth,” Marti said.

“This project will weather-proof the road, reducing the need for road closures and load limits during the wet season and making it more reliable for freight, locals and tourists.”

$4.08 million in upgrades along Ootann Road in the Tablelands Region will be jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Tablelands Regional Council in an 80:20 split.

$3.32 million in upgrades along Ootann Road in Mareeba Shire will be jointly funded by the Australian Government and the Mareeba Shire Council in an 80:20 split.

The latest round of funding will deliver upgrades that include pavement widening and sealing works to a nine-metre seal width, building on previous investments completed under the Northern Australia Beef Roads program.

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