The Australian Government has committed $20 million towards upgrades to the Rockhampton area road network to support road train access.
Stage 1 of the $30 million project will involve a range of improvements to the cattle supply chain and has garnered a $10 million commitment from the Queensland Government as it looks at reducing cross-loading and to improve cattle movements from Central Queensland to Rockhampton.
The project will involve upgrades to key intersections in a bid to improve safety. Widened surfaces of several roads on arterials in north Rockhampton among the necessary improvements of the project.
Matt Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, said in a joint release that the project would be funded under the $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Program.
“Not only will this project reduce costs in the beef supply chain, more importantly it will improve safety by removing the need to decouple trucks at Gracemere,” he said.
“Three years ago Bryson Mayne tragically lost his life decoupling trucks at Gracemere. Once these upgrades occur those risks won’t need to be taken again,” Mr. Canavan said.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Type 1 road trains will receive 29 kilometres of road access.
“This project will upgrade the capacity of the major supply route between Gracemere saleyards and the Rockhampton abattoirs, giving Type 1 road trains access to 29 kilometres of road across the Capricorn Highway, Bruce Highway, Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road and the Rockhampton-Emu Park Road,” said Mr. McCormack.
Access to the Rockhampton area road network for Type 1 road trains requires strict permitting conditions, which are administered by Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator issues permits to operators restricting operating hours to between 7pm and 7am, seven days a week.
Stage 2 of the project is still in the planning stages with the business case completed and the design currently underway.