The Flinders Highway between Townsville and Mount Isa was a prime example of where funding is needed in the Federal Government’s “Roads of Strategic Importance” $1.5 billion program, says Frank Beveridge.
Mr Beveridge, the LNP candidate for Kennedy, was speaking after a “round table” meeting in Townsville last week, led by Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport, Scott Buchholz.
Mr Beveridge said the initiative would not only provide much improved and vital infrastructure but would also provide an economic impetus for many towns suffering due to the drought.
“The Flinders won’t be the only major road involved in this major initiative. Linking roads between regions will also be targeted,” Mr Beveridge said.
“This is the fofth year of drought in the central North West Queensland and the money earmarked for regional roads will be a life line to the regional communities and will assist the local councils, shopkeepers, private machinery operators and other small businesses who are trying to keep their staff employed and make payments on equipment.”
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Mr Beveridge said the additional funding would build on the important upgrades already progressing under the Northern Australia Roads Program and the Beef Roads Program.
“I have been in Richmond this week and am speaking with people on a daily basis about the difficulties faced in the bush,” he said.
“They are telling me that they want to see action in the bush, not just promises, this initiative, along with the others I have mentioned are very good steps in the right direction.”
Mr Beveridge said significantly improved roads would benefit many more than the traditional agriculture based sector.
“The improved infrastructure will also allow easier access for tourists to visit the many superb tourism and heritage sites across the north and north west,” he said.