Huge infrastructure spending boost for Ring Rd
ROCKHAMPTON’S Ring Road project will benefit from the Federal Government’s effort to stimulate Australia’s weakening economy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a four year $3.8 billion infrastructure package to boost construction and jobs activity yesterday.
In a $2 billion deal between the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments, $1.3 billion will be put towards busting congestion, improving public transport and keep drivers safer on the state’s roads.
While the new funding for Queensland projects is mostly focused on the southeast corner, Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said the $1 billion Rockhampton Ring Road was “closer to fruition” thanks to her government bringing forward $10 million into the forward estimates towards the project.
“The accelerated funding of the Rockhampton Ring Road is a great example of all levels of government working together to benefit the region,” Ms Landry said.
“The proposed scope for works on Rockhampton Ring Road have an additional bridge across the Fitzroy River, increasing flood immunity to the area and building a four-lane sealed highway corridor parallel with the rail corridor, helping vital supplies and goods to get to Rockhampton in disaster events.”
Last month Ms Landry said her government had dedicated a further $52 million towards $65 million worth of planning and preservation activities for the project.
This included $14 million to help these activities progress with the remaining $38 million handed down throughout this planning stage to support the development of a business case exploring the best design solution for construction.
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.
The new package announcement comes after Labor, the International Monetary Fund and the Reserve Bank had repeatedly called on the government to provide more fiscal stimulus to assist the economy which was suffering from global uncertainty and slowing growth, with little room to cut interest rates further.
Labor’s Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers described the infrastructure package announcement as a “humiliating” backdown and an admission that the economy was weak and in need of stimulus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said delivering critical road projects sooner, as part of the Government’s $100 billion pipeline, was responsible and considered economic management and they weren’t succumbing to “panic” in the face of global uncertainty.