Bid to price key Rocky project under $1b
AUTHORITIES are exploring ways to reduce the cost of a Rockhampton ring road to bring it under $1billion, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry says.
Speaking after Friday's breakthrough announcement that the Queensland Government would provide $176 million to build Rookwood Weir, Ms Landry (pictured) confirmed she had been in discussions with Main Roads officials during the past week about the proposed ring road.
The Queensland Government's move means it looks like Rookwood will go ahead with the Turnbull Government having previously committed $130m to the project and keen to see it advance.
Meanwhile, authorities are looking at how they will be able to provide the supporting infrastructure to enable the weir to deliver the biggest benefits for the region.
Earlier this month, Rockhampton Regional Council Airport Committee chairman Councillor Neil Fisher said development of the ring road, which would divert traffic from the Bruce Hwy along the west of Rockhampton and reconnect at Glenlee, was essential to enable the airport to develop its cargo and freight capacity.
Discussing the new 20-year vision for the Rockhampton Airport, Cr Fisher said the ring road dovetailed with Rookwood Weir's ability to cultivate high-return crops which could be exported.
"If council is able to establish the markets and attract the suitable aircraft operators, additional air cargo facilities would certainly be required,” Cr Fisher said.
Ms Landry agreed there was a timely need to develop the transport corridors.
"I'm very keen to move forward on this and will be talking to Barnaby Joyce about the ring road,” she said. "This project is still in the planning stages.”
Ms Landry said the price tag was more than $1b and efforts were being made to bring it under this figure.
The Bruce Hwy was currently mid-way through a 10-year plan and the focus would turn to this ring-road project under the next long-term plan.