IQ-RAP’s 28 Councils seek $200m Investment into Regional ROADS
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
INLAND Queensland Roads Action Project (IQ-RAP) Partners are advocating for funding commitments in the lead up to the State election. The IQ-RAP Working Group Chair Cr Rick Britton has sent letters to each political party to request infrastructure investment commitments over the next four years.
At this difficult time in the economy, continuing investment into strategic freight networks will be important for jobs as well as industry, tourism and communities. Further investment commitments will allow the vision of IQ-RAP to be realised. The IQ-RAP vision is to increase the quality and accessibility of the inland Queensland road network, contributing to Australia’s productivity, quality of life, safety and equity outcomes.
Mareeba Shire Deputy Mayor Kevin Davies said investment into roads has a very significant multiplier effect in terms of benefits. “The investments can immediately catalyse local construction jobs in each of our communities. Businesses will benefit through better and more reliable road quality that ensures greater productivity and efficiency.,” Cr Davies said.
“More areas will open up to tourists and there will be better safety outcomes for all road users.”
IQ-RAP Partners have requested commitments from each party to endorse the Inland Queensland Road Network Strategy, invest $200m into currently unfunded priorities across the 28 local government areas, and progress detailed planning for the identified priorities.
Additionally, they have asked for a commitment to work collaboratively with all IQ-RAP Partners to secure Federal funding and work collaboratively to roll out funding in a timely manner to ensure benefits can be achieved as quickly as possible.
“By taking a long-term, strategic, and collaborative approach to planning and funding of our major freight routes, IQ-RAP Partners have secured nearly $1.4 billion in funding since February 2016, but there is still more than $3.7 billion of investment required to upgrade the strategic roads and bridges to fit-for-purpose standards across the 28 local government areas that make up 70% of the State,” Cr Davies said.
Regional Development Australia Townsville and North West Queensland (RDA) has provided secretariat and project management to IQ-RAP since 2013. The project covers 70% of Queensland across 28 local government areas. Partners include 28 local governments, five Regional Development Australia committees and RACQ.
The strategic inland Queensland road network was recognised as being of national significance on Infrastructure Australia’s 2020 Infrastructure Priority List in February 2020, an important step in attracting future investment.