Robert Schwarten and Capricorn Tourism and Economic Development chairman Grant Cassidy look towards development on the riverbank.
Robert Schwarten and Capricorn Tourism and Economic Development chairman Grant Cassidy look towards development on the riverbank. Allan Reinikka

Focus on CQ road repairs

THE State Government will announce the first part of almost $1 billion in funding to fix Central Queensland roads in today's Budget.

The Federal Government has agreed to provide $696m under the Natural Disaster and Relief Recovery Arrangements while the State will contribute in the Budget a portion of the remaining $232m for repairs over the next three years.

Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten yesterday revealed the Budget would include $8m in funding for the next stage of the riverbank development.

Premier Anna Bligh said 1000km of flood-damaged roads would be repaired and the works were forecast to create 3000 jobs in the region.

Ms Bligh said the roads would be better able to cope with “wild weather” as they would be built to modern engineering standards with thicker surfaces and wider shoulders.

Work is due to start on $152m of repairs to 367km of the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Bogantungan, west of Emerald.

The project would create 532 jobs.

A spokesman for Ms Bligh said they could not give an exact figure for how much of the Federal funds would be spent in the coming Budget but indicated it would be the majority.

At Rockhampton's riverbank yesterday morning, Mr Schwarten made a pre-budget announcement of $6m for the area as well as $2m for the South Rockhampton Memorial Pool.

Plans for the works were unveiled last December and included a fitness trail, climbing walls and night market between the southern side of Cambridge St and Fitzroy Bridge as well as a lookout at Moore's Creek.

There will also be a memorial to Victoria Cross winner Private John Leak on Huish Drive.

Mr Schwarten said the works would discourage anti-social behaviour in the area.

“The more people that are around the less opportunity there is for people to stay,” he said.

Stakeholder group chairman Grant Cassidy said the plans were the “missing link” in the riverbank development.

WHAT’S IN THE BUDGET FOR CQ

  • Funds towards $928m of repair works on Central Queensland roads
  • $6m for the Rockhampton riverbank development
  • $2m for the redevelopment of the South Rockhampton Memorial Pool



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