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    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Economic Development
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Prime Minister should commit to Rockhampton flood levee and roads

    Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Economic Development
    The Honourable Bill Byrne

    Friday, May 19, 2017

    Prime Minister should commit to Rockhampton flood levee and roads

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needs to use his visit to Central Queensland to join the Queensland Government to fund important infrastructure, including the South Rockhampton Flood Levee and highway upgrades, Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne said today.

    “The Palaszczuk Government has committed to the South Rockhampton Flood Levee and has nominated it as part of jointly a funded Category D application under the Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements,” he said.

    “This application is before the Prime Minister and I know Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk raised it with him in Brisbane yesterday.

    “After TC Marcia in 2015, the Premier and then Prime Minister Tony Abbott approved a Category D application. We are very hopeful Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will approve this Category D application following TC Debbie and severe flooding that flooded.”

    Mr Byrne, who is also the Minister for Rural Economic Development, said the Turnbull Government had dropped the ball on northern Australia road projects.

    “The Federal Government originally allocated $375 million in its Northern Australia Roads Program for Queensland in last year’s Federal Budget, but provided only $223.8 million,” he said.

    “This means Queensland was short-changed by around $150 million for vital roads projects.

    “With the Prime Minister in Emerald today, I urge him to look at projects like the Valentine Creek bridge upgrade on the Capricorn Highway west of Rockhampton and the intersection of the Capricorn and Gregory Highways near Emerald.

    “I am concerned the Northern Australia agenda has lost its momentum in Canberra, particularly with the failure to commit to these road projects and the failure of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to provide any finance to any project.

    “We will have the opportunity to discuss Northern Australia at the next COAG meeting.  The Federal Government needs to re-engage on it.”

    Roads

    The Palaszczuk Government had urged the Turnbull Government to return the $150 million in promised roads funding under the Northern Australia Roads Programme (NARP) in this Budget.

    The Turnbull Government has failed to do so, and unfunded Queensland NARP projects include:

    • National Land Transport Network:  Road Renewal
    • Flinders Highway (Hughenden – Cloncurry):  Pavement widening and strengthening (Package 2)
    • Flinders Highway (Townsville – Charters Towers):  Overtaking lanes
    • Flinders Highway (Townsville – Charters Towers):  Heavy vehicle safety and productivity package
    • Capricorn Highway (Rockhampton – Duaringa):  Valentine Creek bridge upgrade
    • Gregory Developmental Road (Belyando Crossing – Charter Towers):  Pavement widening
    • Gulf Developmental Road (East of Mount Surprise – Normanton):  Pavement widening (Package 1)
    • Landsborough Highway (Barcaldine – Cloncurry):  Heavy vehicle rest areas and stopping places
    • Burke and Karumba Developmental Roads (Cloncurry – Karumba):  Pavement widening (Package 1)
    • Cairns (Captain Cook Highway):  Cairns Airport Access upgrade (Stage 1)
    • Capricorn Highway (Duaringa – Emerald):  Gregory Highway intersection upgrade

    Media: 0448 994 172