On road to progress thanks to spirit of co- op­er­a­tion

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

IT IS great to see the State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments work to­gether to pro­vide fund­ing for cru­cial re­gional roads, such as the seal­ing of the Hann High­way.

Work re­cently started on the $ 53 mil­lion up­grade of the Hann High­way, which will see the fi­nal 36km stretch sealed over the next three years. Seal­ing the high­way will help all busi­nesses and tourists save hours of travel be­tween far north Queens­land and south­ern mar­kets in Vic­to­ria and South Aus­tralia. While this road project will de­liver a more re­li­able freight and tourist route for the North, it will also pro­vide hun­dreds of much needed jobs for the re­gion over the next few years.

This road project has come to fruition thanks to the work and lob­by­ing of the Hann High­way Ac­tion Group, the Flin­ders and Etheridge shire coun­cils and Flin­ders Mayor Jane McNa­mara, who is also a mem­ber of the North­ern Aus­tralia Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil.

As chair of the In­land Queens­land Roads Ac­tion Plan ( IQ- RAP) I know all too well what can be achieved when re­gional coun­cils come to­gether in a united voice and with a com­mon goal to im­prove re­gional sus­tain­abil­ity, pro­duc­tiv­ity and safety on Queens­land’s in­land road net­work.

The IQ- RAP pri­ori­tises up­grades over the next 18 years and is de­signed to as­sist gov­ern­ments and stake­hold­ers to as­sess and pri­ori­tise projects for fund- ing. The plan iden­ti­fied over 3000km of road that re­quires up­grades, which in­cluded the Hann High­way.

I am pleased to see State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments recog­nis­ing that re­gional roads are the key to eco­nomic growth in the North and I look for­ward to fur­ther com­mit­ments to Queens­land’s in­land road net­work.

CR RICK BRIT­TON, Chair IQ- RAP Work­ing Group, Mayor of Bou­lia Shire Coun­cil.

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