Although this one is a little further out, we felt it was worth mentioning for cargo and freight purposes.
One of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s most discussed election promises has been her pledge to build a second Bruce Highway to cut travel times and move freight off the existing main artery route. The new highway planned to run all the way from the town of Mungindi on the New South Wales border all the way up to Charters Towers in the north.
Already identified as a key corridor for freight in Queensland, Labor will contribute $200 million to the $1 billion already in the pipeline from the Federal Government. The Premier has stated that the highway will reduce industry costs while also removing some of the existing pressure from the busy Bruce Highway.
The money will fund a number of upgrades to support heavy vehicles on the roads between Roma and Townsville on the inland route, which would reduce the number of trucks on the existing Bruce by up to 49%. The new road would cut four to five hours from the travel time to Melbourne, while also providing an alternative route whenever access via the Bruce Highway is cut off such as during extreme floods and other weather events.
While there are already 33 different projects that are currently underway on the M1, Premier Palaszczuk promised Labor will continue increasing annual investment in upgrades for the highway to just under $2 billion by the year 2023. This plan also adds to the existing 12.6 billion dollar partnership for the Federal highway which supports 2500 jobs, as well as an additional $500 million for a number of upgrades between Gladstone and Proserpine.
Encouraging more trucks to use a new inland highway will mean less heavy transport travelling through local highway communities between Gympie and Townsville. This would help Labor reach a target they’ve set for a 60% reduction in Queensland road fatalities by the year 2030.