Thursday, 23 April 2020

A $25 million upgrade of the Landsborough Highway between Longreach and Winton is now complete, improving travel times and safety for motorists.

Senator for Queensland Susan McDonald said the project formed part of the Australian Government’s broader commitment to developing the North.

“The road between Longreach and Winton is critical for the drive tourism market that both towns have done such a terrific job of developing,” she said.

“Tourists can fly to Longreach but need to drive to Winton to access the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit Waltzing Matilda Centre, so it’s an important link.

“This project was funded through the Australian Government’s $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program, which is delivering upgrades to high priority roads in northern Australia essential to local communities and freight to support the North’s economic development,” Senator McDonald said.

“We are committed to investing in the critical infrastructure needed to benefit our North by improving road safety and bolstering economic productivity.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Longreach North Upgrade recognised the importance of the Landsborough Highway, which provides a crucial link between Brisbane and Darwin.

“The Landsborough Highway is the principal north-south route serving western Queensland and a key tourism route and vital supply chain connecting businesses to markets,” Mr McCormack said.

“This investment ensures the highway can safely keep pace with increasing demands from a broad mix of industries, boosting economic confidence and generating prosperity for our regions and northern Australia well into the future.
“Getting on with the job of delivering major construction works such as this is important now more than ever to support our national economy through the COVID-19 pandemic and that’s exactly what the Australian Government is doing right across our North and indeed the nation.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project included widening a 25 kilometre section of the highway to nine metres in width, strengthening the surface and upgrading drainage.

“The project has delivered a safer, smoother road to travel along with wider lanes and better flood immunity, especially at Dingo Creek and other low-lying areas,” Mr Bailey said.

“This will enhance economic productivity by improving travel times, which is a big gain for the livestock and freight industries.

“The liveability of surrounding communities is also improved through more reliable access to essential services and employment opportunities.

“The project also contributed to job creation with an average of 68 direct jobs supported over the life of the project.”

The Longreach North Upgrade is funded on an 80:20 basis with Australian and Queensland Government contributions of $20 million and $5 million, respectively.

For more information on the Northern Australia Roads Program, click here.