MAY 22, 2108: THE troublesome Haughton River Bridge and the floodplain surrounding it took centre stage in Parliament today with both the Deputy Prime Minister and the Treasurer referring to the $500m job-creating project in Question Time.
The issue of the Haughton was raised in response to questions from myself and LNP colleague Michelle Landry regarding infrastructure investment in North and Central Queensland.
In response to my question on regional infrastructure projects in my electorate, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack spoke at some length on the importance of improving safety on this notoriously flood-prone stretch of the Bruce Highway near Giru.
Minister McCormack said: “This is an important project for Queenslanders. It’s going to save lives. It’s going to connect regional communities. But don’t take my word for it. Lyn McLaughlin, the mayor of the Burdekin shire, said that the upgrade was long overdue.
“She said: This project is not just about the Burdekin. This is a route that links southern Queensland with the North and the ability to access it at all times is vital.
“It’s vital infrastructure that is being delivered by the Turnbull government. Projects such as the Haughton River floodplain will boost local economies and create jobs.”
The Treasurer also noted the importance of this $514 million project which is getting underway thanks to a $411 million Federal Government commitment.
The Treasurer said: “We’re continuing to back in the stronger economy in Central Queensland and North Queensland. It depends on the $10 billion that is there to boost the Bruce Highway and fix the issues on the Bruce Highway, including $400 million for the Haughton River Bridge—which is very well known to the Member for Dawson.”
The Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade involves 13.5 kilometres of highway, including realigning the Reed Beds curve and building a new Haughton River Bridge and several other wider, higher bridges.
The project also includes upgrading nine rural intersections, two cane-rail overpasses and installing wide centrelines on the highway north of Ayr.
Work is expected to commence in August this year.