Truck drivers travelling between Toowoomba and Ipswich and Toowoomba and Seymour will soon have a faster and safer journey after the federal government announced $110 million for upgrades to key freight corridors in South East Queensland.
The Toowoomba to Ipswich section has been allocated $60 million and the Toowoomba to Seymour section, along the Gore Highway, allocated $50 million.
Funding comes under the federal governments $3.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative.
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the ROSI initiative would reduce travel times and better connect regional industries—such as mining and agriculture—to domestic and international markets.
“Under the ROSI initiative we are targeting priority road corridors used by agricultural, mining and other industries to provide more reliable road infrastructure and improve connections across the supply chain and to ports, airports and transport hubs.
“These upgrades will help improve profitability for our farmers and boost local economies and jobs by improving the links between regional areas and access to essential services such as healthcare and education,” Mr. McCormack said.
Member for Groom John McVeigh said the 90-kilometre Toowoomba to Ipswich corridor sees the second largest amount of traffic for a rural corridor in Queensland, and is a key link to Brisbane from multiple connecting freight routes.
“This corridor is the southern east-west spine of the Queensland freight route, carrying around $13 billion worth of freight each year, which makes the corridor heavily congested as well as creating safety concerns,” Dr. McVeigh said.
“Our targeted investment in this corridor will improve efficiency and safety, bust congestion and have positive flow on benefits for connecting corridors, including the Toowoomba to Seymour and the Townsville to Roma corridors.”
Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud emphasised the importance of farmers being able to get their products to market.
“Australian farmers are amongst the best in the world at what they do. However, they need to be able to get their products to domestic and overseas processors and consumers.
“Upgrades to these key freight corridors will facilitate this and help improve farmers’ profitability at the farmgate,” Mr. Littleproud said.