Friday, 5 June 2020

A $50 million, four-year collaboration between all three levels of Government to seal major sections of the Hann Highway is complete.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said the Australian and Queensland Governments had worked with Etheridge and Flinders Shire councils to progressively seal sections.

“These sealing works were funded under the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program, which upgrades high-priority roads in northern Australia essential to the movement of people and freight to support economic development,” Mr McCormack said.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz emphasised the positive impact of the upgrades on the local and national economies.

“The Hann Highway is a key road link supporting livestock, mining, tourism and freight in the North,” Mr Buchholz said.

“The completion of these works has improved safety, reliability and efficiency of this important connection.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey, who recently checked out progress on the road, said beyond sealing gravel roads for the community and truck drivers, the program also provided a shot in the arm for local jobs.

“Investing in Queensland roads means supporting Queensland jobs, with average of 120 supported throughout the life of the project,” Mr Bailey said.

“Ten contracts were delivered between The Lynd and Hughenden, three by Flinders Shire Council, four by Etheridge Shire Council and three gravel supply contracts.

“An important aspect of this project was the department’s work with Etheridge and Flinders Shire councils to provide opportunities for local and Indigenous employment.”

North Queensland-based Senator Susan McDonald said construction plays an essential role in keeping our regional and remote communities moving.

“It’s important for farmers, truck drivers and rural communities that we don’t lose momentum following the effects of COVID-19,” Senator McDonald said.

Flinders Shire Council Mayor Jane McNamara said the Flinders Shire Council is very happy to be the recipient of the NARP funded Hann Highway works, along with the Etheridge Shire.

“The four-year program of funding has been a great financial boost to the Flinders Shire and has meant that our work force has been able to be sustainably employed,” Cr McNamara said.

“We thank the Federal Coalition and State Governments for the road funding and congratulate them for their vision for Northern Australia.”

This project was jointly funded with the Australian Government contributing $40 million and the Queensland Government contributing $10 million.