Need for action on Bowen Road Bridge

I RAISED the issue of load limits on Townsville’s troubled Bowen Road Bridge with the Federal Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester during his visit to Townsville today. I am concerned to hear that the load limit on the Bowen Road Bridge (over the Ross River near the Murray Sports area) may soon be restricted from 26 tonnes to 24 tonnes. The traffic issues around the Bowen Road Bridge near the Murray Sports area are well known in this community and I have regularly lobbied for action here.

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I joined Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester, as well as Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson to inspect work on an upgrade to Glenella Road in Mackay. The Australian Government had committed more than $2.52 million toward this project, under the Roads to Recovery program, which gives councils certainty when they need to upgrade and repair local roads. The Glenella Road upgrade near Jane’s Creek will involve resurfacing of the road and pavement rehabilitation to make it less prone to damage from flooding, installing off-road bike paths, and upgrading street lighting - improving safety in the major sporting area around the Magpies Sporting Club.

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A victory on cyclone recovery funding

TODAY’S announcement of an additional $37.6 million in Federal Government disaster relief funding to repair critical infrastructure and damaged beach and river frontages is a victory for the battered communities of Mackay and the Whitsundays. I took up the fight, along with local mayors Andrew Willcox and Greg Williamson, for a fairer funding distribution under Category D of the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) which now totalled more than $96 million. The important thing to focus on today is that there’s an extra $15.2 million to restore the Shute Harbour Marina and get this business and tourism hub back up to speed.

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I NOW have great confidence that there will be further NDRRA Category D funding provided for cyclone recovery in the Whitsundays, Bowen & Mackay. Today, further discussions have been held between the Federal Government and the State Government about certain aspects of the Category D funding package. Extra information which was needed regarding funding for Shute Harbour has been supplied and further discussions have also been undertaken regarding the Bluewater Trail.

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