Dale Last has described the Peak Downs Highway as a
Dale Last has described the Peak Downs Highway as a "goat track"

‘It’s a goat track’: Gateway to the mines snubbed

UPDATE: Isaac Regional Council mayor Anne Baker said the council has made its position very clear - the Peak Down's Highway needs to be upgraded.

"The Peak Downs Highway connects our entire region and its vibrant communities and we need to see further investment," she said.

"We are not going to give up this fight because this highway is a major corridor in keeping the engine room running and our communities."

Cr Baker said the Isaac was the "economic powerhouse" of the state and improvements to safety and keep travel times reasonable is what the region and mining industry deserves.

"For example in the current road conditions and traffic, it is common for the 200km drive between Moranbah and Mackay to be up to three hours one-way," Cr Baker said.

"This setback will not deter us and we will continue to champion on behalf of our region."

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said the upgrades to the Peak Downs Highway were on schedule, so it did not meet the re-profiling funding criteria. 

She said the Federal Government  had committed $166.2million towards the $189 million Peak Downs Highway Safety Works (Eton Range) project.

"I am determined to see works on it finished," she said. "The Australian Government's payments to date for the Peak Downs Highway safety works is already at $108.9 million."

Ms Landry said the current construction of the Eton Range upgrade was progressing well and was expected to be completed next year.

"Peak Downs Highway's current funding profile appropriately reflects the delivery schedule and accelerated funding was not required," she said.

INITIAL: THE gateway to the mining industry in the Bowen Basin has been snubbed - again.

Describing the Peak Downs Highway as a "goat track", Burdekin MP Dale Last said something urgently needed to be done about the state of the major roadway.

Yesterday, the State and Federal governments announced a $1.9 million joint funding release for road and rail infrastructure across the state.

But Mr Last said given the amount of royalties flowing from Central Queensland to the State Government coffers, the Peak Downs Highway should be a priority.

"We're seeing an increase in volumes of traffic, including heavy vehicles and road trains," Mr Last said.

"(The highway) needs more overtaking lanes, road widening, pavement improvement. It has just been left. It has been disregarded."

>>>READ MORE: Police respond to crash on major road

Mr Last said the funding announcement was positive for Queensland, but the funding needed to be channelled to areas that most needed it.

"We're still driving around on unsealed roads in Central Queensland," he said.

Eton Range, part of the Peak Downs Highway, is currently being upgraded.

The Bruce Highway, including Stage 2 of the Mackay Ring Road project, was included in the funding.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Isaac Region Mayor Anne Baker have been contacted for comment.



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