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The Hon Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
Leader of The Nationals
Federal Member for Riverina

The Hon Michelle Landry MP
Assistant Minister for Children and Families
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia
Federal Member for Capricornia

George Christensen MP
Federal Member for Dawson

The Hon Mark Bailey MP
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
State Member for Miller

The Australian and Queensland Governments have unlocked $18 million in joint funding to upgrade the Peak Downs Highway between Mackay and Eton, paving the way for construction to begin later this year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the safety-improving project formed part of the joint $415 million stimulus package announced earlier this year to create jobs, support local businesses and strengthen Queensland’s economy.

“Shovels in the ground means better infrastructure projects and more jobs for Queenslanders,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“We are investing in our post-pandemic future by delivering lasting infrastructure which will kick-start our economic recovery and benefit Australians for years to come.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the highway between Mackay and Eton was notoriously dangerous, with four fatal crashes and over 100 people seriously injured in crashes on the stretch over the last 10 years.

“Saving lives on Queensland roads is our absolute top priority, which is why our governments are investing in the upgrades needed to make this troublesome section of the highway safer for our road users,” Mr Bailey said.

“This project will widen sections of the highway between Drapers Sliding and Old Rocky Waterholes Road to 12 metres, including wide centrelines and sealed shoulders, while delivering a number of other critical safety improvements such as intersection upgrades and new road signage and barriers.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said improving safety and access along the highway would also provide a much-needed boost to key Queensland industries such as mining and agriculture while ensuring locals remain reliably connected to jobs and services.

“The Peak Downs Highway is a critical commuter and freight link that connects key mining and agricultural communities and businesses in the Central Highlands and Bowen Basin districts to markets and service industries,” Ms Landry said.

“We see a significant volume of freight, including oversize and over-mass vehicles, along this road – meaning this upgrade will help ensure they get home safely at the end of each day after their critical work keeping our state’s economy moving and shelves stocked.”

Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen welcomed the news, saying the Australian Government had been working to ensure that the project was delivered as soon as possible.

“We first announced this project in June as part of a $150 million joint investment for life-saving road safety improvements right across the state – an important part of our stimulus package that I am pleased to see is continuing to progress and deliver for Queensland,” Mr Christensen said.

“Detailed design works are already underway, with construction set to kick off before the end of the year to support jobs and local businesses at a time it’s needed more than ever.”

The $18 million Peak Downs Highway (Mackay to Eton) project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $14.4 million and the Queensland Government $3.6 million.

The project is part of the Australian Government’s $500 million nationwide Targeted Road Safety Works package, which is funding projects on state or territory roads to improve road user safety that can be completed within 12 months, providing an immediate boost to the economy and local jobs.

For more information, visit https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure_investment/infrastructure_investment_response_covid-19/targeted_road_safety_works.aspx

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