The Highway is being designed to be an alternative to the flood-prone Bruce Highway, and is expected to help suppport new mines opening up of the Galilee Basin in coming years.
This week, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney told State Parliament that a vital alternative north-south link would be both strategically and economically important for Queensland.
“In a state the size of Queensland, high quality road networks are essential to keep the economy rolling and to boost quality of life for regional Queenslanders.
“Our intention is to identify the roads that will form the inland alternative to the Bruce Highway and given them a priority in funding decisions.
“This is not about building a whole new highway. It’s about upgrading existing roads to create a much-needed inland route to be used during flooding and natural disasters and to ease pressure on the Bruce Highway.
“As that inland alternative is progressively upgraded, we hope it will carry increasing volumes of traffic and expand the economic horizons for communities along the route.
Mr Seeney said the State Government remained committed to improving the Bruce Highway and ensuring the Federal Government met its financial obligations to upgrade this essential piece of infrastructure.
“However it also makes sense for those coastal communities that depend on the Bruce Highway to have an inland alternative to be used in times of flood and natural disaster,” he said.
“As part of this process we will consider upgrading roads such as the Burnett, Gregory, and Kennedy Highways, and the Kennedy and Gregory Development Roads.
“Our government has the commitment and foresight to consider Queenslanders needs 10, 20 and even 50 years ahead and plan for those infrastructure requirements.”