Big boost for Bundy with Labor’s $42.5 million promise
HOT on the heels of the Bundaberg Regional Council launching its advocacy list on Friday the Palaszczuk Government has committed to investing more than $40 million into the Bundaberg region.
Regardless of the outcome of the State Election next month, the Palaszczuk Government has committed $42.5 million to upgrade the Isis Highway between Bundaberg and the Bruce Highway, as part of Queensland's economic recovery plan.
Arriving in Bundaberg over the weekend, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said it was great news for the Bundaberg region, with the upgrades set to benefit local motorists, as well as travellers.
"This is a major announcement for Bundaberg and the region - a $42.5 million commitment to upgrade the Isis Highway between Bundaberg and the Bruce Highway," Mr Bailey said.
"It's going to mean much safer access to Bundaberg when coming off the Bruce Highway so it's great to see this commitment by the Palaszczuk Government for better roads and safer roads in the Bundaberg region.
"Truckies, families and businesses rely on the Isis and Bruce Highways every day, which is why we're delivering $20 million in Bruce upgrades north of Childers and now we're getting on with more than $40 million to improve safety on what is one of the main links to Bundaberg."
Works set to be completed on the 40km stretch will range from road widening to wide centre line treatments, intersection upgrades, safety barrier installations and the removal of roadside hazards.
Over the last decade, 11 fatal incidents have occurred on the Isis Highway, with 57 hospitalisations resulting from crashes on the road.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey said the promise was exactly what the community had been asking for as it would mean bring more jobs, growth and safety to the region.
"This funding will address some of the safety concerns from the community to make it safer for not just local users but as we grow as a region, to have that connectivity between the Bruce Highway and the ever growing Bundaberg region," Mr Dempsey said.
"As we know, roads are like the arteries of the heart of the community and with this increase in funding towards Isis Road, we will be able to increase the volume and safety of users on this particular highway."
The NewsMail exclusively revealed the full list of projects listed on Council's advocacy list prior to the official launch last week, with the Bundaberg Mayor revealing roads and the East levee as two of the main priorities.
He said while roads including Goodwood, Moore Park Beach, Rosedale and Gin Gin were also on the list, the Isis Highway had been identified as a high risk.
"The Department of Transport and Main Roads are working in with Council to identify and prioritise projects which will make the citizens of this area safer is always worthwhile," Mr Dempsey said.
"I spent over 20 years in the police service and it's not just the tragedies of the people involved in the incident, but it's the emergency service workers, it's the families and it has a wider effect."
The funding is in addition to the Palaszczuk Government's previously committed funding, dedicated to creating overtaking lanes on the Isis Highway, $13.5 million for Bargara Road and $5 million for safety upgrades on roads throughout Bundaberg.
Labor candidate for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the announcement demonstrates the Labor Government's commitment to road infrastructure and jobs for regional Queensland.
"This is a really important announcement for the people of Bundaberg - over $40 million to upgrade 10 intersections and 13 road widenings on the Isis Highway," Mr Smith said.
"We've already seen the benefits of the government's economic recovery plan by creating jobs here in Bundaberg and this announcement will create around 50 jobs for our region as well."
Upgrades to the Isis Highway are expected to commence from September next year.