REVEALED: The huge new projects set to shape Rockhampton
WHEN Malcolm Turnbull last week suggested Rockhampton could become one of the next sites to sign a City Deal, mayor Margaret Strelow was already one step ahead.
Rockhampton Regional Council had already written to the Queensland Government with a preliminary proposal for one of the partnerships, which sees all three tiers of government working together to deliver projects identified as community priorities.
Cr Strelow said both State and Federal representatives, Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, had also previously discussed with her the possibility of a City Deal.
Only three regions nationally have signed deals: Townsville, Launceston, and Western Sydney.
However, speaking exclusively to The Morning Bulletin last week, Mr Turnbull said it was a program he wanted to see expand to other regional centres, including Rockhampton.
The council is determined not to go into any discussions of the deal cold and created a preliminary proposal outlining priority projects which could form the foundation of a City Deal.
This framework is expected to be adopted by the council mid-year and incorporates six projects set to transform the CBD. These include:
- A Quay St cultural precinct, centred around the relocation of the Rockhampton Art Gallery
- A "transport oriented mixed-use development that incorporates a multi-storey car park"
- Upgrades to the streetscape to improve "amenity and walkability"
- A CBD living demonstration project
- A range of new region-wide signage, public art and heritage experience
There are several major road upgrades where funding has already been committed.
The council believes they could provide a strong base for a City Deal and leverage for delivery of future opportunities.
$121 million Rockhampton North Access Project duplicating approximates 3.8km of the Bruce Hwy between Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd turn-off and Ramsay Creek
Duplication of the Capricorn Hwy, costing $100 million including $60 million in Federal Government funding.
Stage 1 and 2 of creating Type 1 Road Train access to Rockhampton abattoirs
Rockhampton Ring Road, $65 million plan and preserve corridor
Although funding is not yet committed, council is also keen to investigate the Rockhampton Ring Road and third bridge with design and staged construction set to cost $500 million
While some projects, like the Rockhampton Hospital car park, are already underway, there are many projects council has identified which are in advanced planning stages, but not yet funded.
- $25 million multi-level Rockhampton Hospital car park (including $7 million from the Federal Government)
- Rookwood Weir, $261 million including conditional $130 million Federal funding
- Development of the Fitzroy Agriculture Corridor
- Flood mitigation, including the South Rockhampton Flood Levee
- Promoting and developing the city as a FIFO hub for resources projects, including Adani's Carmichael coal mine.
- Further planning and development of the Gracemere Industrial Area and Rockhampton Airport Precinct
- Council office accommodation and a new Local Disaster Coordination Centre