$12M Shute Harbour Rd upgrade to create crucial jobs
A $12 MILLION UPGRADE on Shute Harbour Rd will be brought forward, with the project touted as a way to create local jobs when they are desperately needed.
The section between Paluma Rd and Valley Dve will be upgraded to four lanes and receive intersection improvements, increasing the capacity and safety of Airlie Beach's sole access road.
The early upgrade was decided upon after the Morrison Liberal National Government identified it as a Road of Strategic Importance.
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said the project would provide local jobs at a time when they were desperately needed.
"We know the Whitsundays has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the tourism and accommodation industries," Mr Christensen said.
"The Morrison Liberal National Government is getting behind the Whitsunday region at this difficult time and delivering a key infrastructure project that will provide long-term benefits to the area.
"Not only will this project deliver jobs for locals, but it will streamline the access for travellers and tourists to Airlie Beach while improving safety for road users in general."
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the early works projects would be delivered on corridors identified under the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative.
"Works to seal roads, build overtaking lanes, upgrade intersections and improve safety will start sooner under an agreement reached between the Australian and Queensland Governments on 22 jointly-funded regional projects worth $185 million," Mr McCormack said.
"As the effects of COVID-19 ripple through our economy, it is vital all levels of governments work together to support jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger and safer regional communities.
"Delivering early works through the ROSI initiative will give regional Queensland communities access to new projects and jobs.
"We are committed to delivering the Federal Government's $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline, which will support our economy and create jobs, particularly for those in the construction and building supply chain sectors, through the current COVID-19 response."
Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the State Government had identified projects which could start in the coming 12 months, while further consultation continued to develop 10-year ROSI corridor investment strategies.
"In the meantime, my department has identified a range of critical projects on each of those corridors including bridge replacements, road sealing and widening and intersection upgrades that can get started earlier while we're consulting on the longer-term priorities," he said.
"Council workforces and local contractors will benefit from these contracts too."
No specific date was given for when the works would begin.