The Australian and Queensland Governments have reached an agreement to get the first phase of construction for the Rockhampton Ring Road started in 2023, following the early works currently underway.
The agreement will see a $280 million package of construction works kick-off next year, including the upgrading of several connecting roads.
This will include upgrades to Boundary Road, McLaughlin Street, Monier Road Overpass and the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road intersection.
It will also provide a connection for the future project to West Rockhampton, which will include an upgrade to Lion Creek Bridge plus connections to local roads.
The large package of works represent the start of a new construction phase for the project, and follows several months of close cooperation between the two governments to assess the best way to get the project moving.
This positive step for the project comes as early works for the Rockhampton Ring Road ramp up today, with standing up of power poles underway at Pink Lily to ready the new road corridor for construction.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had vowed to take a second look at funding for the much-anticipated Rockhampton Ring Road, despite its snubbing in the most recent federal budget.
“We’ve always been committed to this project, and that’s why we kept funding in the forward estimates for it,” said Catherine King, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.
“I’m pleased to say we’ve reached a new funding agreement between the Queensland and federal governments to get the project underway.
“The Albanese government is committed to Central Queensland, which is why the federal budget delivered $200 million in new funding for the Bruce Highway between Rockhampton and Gladstone, and $400 million in new funding for beef and cattle corridors which will include roads in Central Queensland.
“Our budget also delivered another $400 million towards the Inland Freight Route, the second Bruce Highway – taking the total to $800 million, plenty of which will go towards key roads in Central Queensland.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey paid tribute to the advocacy of local MPs Barry O’Rourke and Brittany Lauga.
“I’d like to once against acknowledge the work Barry and Brittany have been doing behind the scenes to get work going on this project, our new plans wouldn’t be anywhere near as advanced as they are without their advocacy and hard work,” said Bailey.
“The reality is, we had a Federal LNP government in power for almost a decade who did nothing but drag their feet on this road.”