Federal funds are pushing Ring Rd project forward
DESPITE criticism from Labor, federal funds are flowing and milestones are being met for Rockhampton’s Ring Road according to Capricornia MP Michelle Landry.
Ms Landry confirmed that millions had been poured into the project to progress it through the current planning and preservation stage.
Following last week’s downgrade in the International Monetary Fund’s growth forecast for Australia’s economy, Shadow Minister for Northern Australia Murray Watt demanded that the Federal Government bring forward infrastructure spending for projects like the Rockhampton Ring Road Project.
His call was supported by Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke who said progress on the road was dependent on whether the Federal Government would release funds and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had written to the Prime Minister requesting they fast-track federal funding.
Ms Landry said her government was supporting the advancement of the $1 billion project which would eventually link the Bruce Highway, west of Rockhampton, with key connections into the city at the Capricorn Highway, Ridgelands Road, Alexandra Street and Yaamba Road.
“The Australian Government understands the significant investment of $800 million towards the $1 billion Rockhampton Ring Road requires careful and strategic planning,” Ms Landry said.
“This is why the Australian Government has also dedicated a further $52 million towards $65 million worth of planning and preservation activities for the Project.
“To make sure these activities continue to progress, the Australian Government has already paid out $14 million to the Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads to ensure the planning foundations are solid.”
Ms Landry said the remaining $38 million would be handed down throughout this planning stage to support the development of a business case that would explore the best design solution for construction.
“We stand by our election commitment of $800 million towards construction of the Rocky Ring Road. Our money is good and it’s been on the table since before the election,” she said.
“Senator Murray Watt’s and the Member for Rockhampton’s assertions that federal funding isn’t ready to go is ridiculous because it’s already there and it’s already flowing into project to ensure it will be completed on time for people in Rocky.”
Ms Landry said the project would benefit local residents by enhancing the capacity, safety and accessibility of Rockhampton roads by diverting trucks away from suburban streets.
“This will reduce travel times and congestion for Rocky motorists and businesses, and improve the roads’ flood immunity on this section of the Bruce Highway,” she said.
“The Australian Government is also already delivering for Rockhampton, investing $96.8 million towards the $110 million Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade project, which is due to finish in 2020.”
Public consultations for the Rockhampton Ring Road were expected to begin at the end of this year with the business case for the project expected to be finished by mid-2020, with early works expected to start in early 2021.