ROAD TRIP: Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey will drive from Brisbane to Cairns.
ROAD TRIP: Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports Mark Bailey will drive from Brisbane to Cairns. Contributed

State MP to road trip from Brisbane to Cairns

MAIN Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey is setting off today on a week-and-a-half long road trip of Queensland's iconic coastal highway.

The journey will take in the full 1,652kms from Brisbane to Cairns, and is set to include visits to many of the communities - big and small - that rely on the highway to prosper.

Those communities have the chance of further prosperity thanks to the jointly funded 10-year, $8.5 billion Bruce Hwy Upgrade Program, which will reportedly support 2,394 direct jobs.

"The Bruce Hwy continues to be a key priority, thanks to the Palaszczuk Government's commitment to continuously improving safety, flood immunity and capacity on our state's road network,” Mr Bailey said.

"The Bruce Hwy Upgrade Program is being rolled out, successfully saving lives all the way up the Queensland coast, and I'm keen to not only see the work that is being done first-hand but also talk to people about our record roads program we're delivering announced in last week's Budget.”

Mr Bailey said some towns were still struggling with the devastating impacts of Cyclone Debbie, and he wanted to make sure they knew they had not been forgotten and that recovery projects were continuing as fast as possible.

"With the significant impacts from Cyclone Debbie felt earlier this year, funding of $105million has been allocated across Queensland in 2017-18 to undertake restoration works,” he said.

Among the locations Mr Bailey will visit are those earmarked for ongoing funding in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2017-18 to 2020-21 (QTRIP).

"The Palaszczuk Government is delivering record funding for road and transport projects across the state as part of the four year QTRIP, which outlines close to $21 billion of investment.”

According to the press release, the QTRIP 2017-18 to 2020-21 outlines more than $500 million of works in 2017-18 on the Bruce Hwy, with a number of key projects and programs underway, including*:

. Cairns Southern Access Stage 2 - Robert Road to Foster Road ($58 million)

. Cattle and Frances Creeks Upgrade south of Ingham ($118.9 million)

. Sandy Gully Bridge Upgrade north of Bowen ($57.5 million)

. Mackay Ring Road ($497.8 million)

. Northern Access Upgrade Stage I, Rockhampton ($121 million)

. Cooroy to Curra - Section C ($384.2 million)

. Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway (total estimated cost $929.3 million)

. Bruce Hwy Safety Package, including pavement widening ($814 million)

. Bruce Hwy Overtaking Lanes ($275 million)

Furthermore, the recent federal and state budgets have seen over $1 billion in savings across the Bruce Hwy program reinvested towards new works on the Bruce Hwy, namely*:

. $14 million to upgrade the Wide Bay Hwy/Bruce Hwy intersection upgrade.

. $662.5 million towards priority upgrades between Pine River and Caloundra.

. $150 million for the Deception Bay Interchange upgrade.

. $228.3 million for additional safety works.

"And QTRIP doesn't just deliver great infrastructure, it will also support nearly 17,000 direct jobs over the life of the four year program,” Mr Bailey said.

"This is in stark contrast to the Newman-Nicholls Government, which slashed roads funding by $600 million and stalled road infrastructure across Queensland when they were in power.”

In addition, Mr Bailey, who is also Energy Minister, will discuss Queensland's renewable energy boom.

"In 18 months, Queensland has seen an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment activity with 17 large-scale projects in the pipeline worth $2.2 billion of investment, 2200 jobs and 1200 megawatts if clean power to the state, reducing emissions by 2.8 tonnes a year,” he said.

"We're also backing Queenslanders by investing $1.16 billion in our recently announced Powering Queensland Plan which will put downward pressure cost of living expenses, deliver new jobs and investment and lead the transition to a clean energy future.”

(*funding amounts are estimated total project costs)

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