$40m+ approved to reduce road deaths in CQ
More than $40 million will be spent in Central Queensland, and $267.4 million in the regions generally, to make roads more safe by the end of this financial year.
The number of road deaths in Queensland increased by 26 per cent in 2020, despite COVID-19 diminishing traffic.
The government spending spree announced on Monday is the first of three tranches meant to decrease that statistic.
All of the 87 projects drawing from the $289.6 million purse must be completed by June 30.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said works would be carried out in Rockhampton, on Emu Park Road, at Collinsville, and at Moranbah and Nebo.
“There’s going to be lots of work done and it’s all to help with road safety,” Ms Landry said.
“As we see over the Christmas period, there’s a lot of people that have been killed in car accidents.
“So things like those middle lanes, to have the sound markings on the side of the road – all those things help.
“All of the works undertaken will mean better and safer roads, including lighting and widening busy roads to ease traffic congestion and hazards.”
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said “Anything to do with safety, to reduce the number of lives lost, is so important”.
“It’s also the jobs that this creates within our home community,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said those local jobs would number “many, many dozens” given that the work is expected to support 950 across Queensland.
“Most of those jobs are going to be in regional Queensland,” he said.
“Most of those jobs are going to be local workers, and of course that feeds into local businesses, local procurement.
“So the cafe just down the road, or just along that way, they’ll be selling more egg and bacon rolls. They’ll be selling more coffee for the workers who’ll be on site.
“Every dollar spent has a road safety aspect and component built into that particular investment by the Commonwealth.”
Road Safety and Freight Transport Assistant Minister Scott Buchholz said the money was “one of those use it or lose its”.
“Can I tell everyone from the electorate of Capricornia, do not stand between a bucket of money and Michelle Landry,” he said.
“These roads are proven, that once we make these investments we see a 30 per cent reduction in critical injury and life loss.
“Can I say that the widening of shoulders so that we can put audible lines, so that when you drive off the road there’s that split second to remind you to get back on, the median strips placed into the middle of the road to give that room for error a little bit more, are all infrastructure investments that we know deliver and save lives.”
A total $225 million of the funding is from the Federal Government, the rest from the State Government.