Around 30 kilometres of dirt road between Bedourie and Birdsville will be sealed with $14.5 million of works on the Eyre Developmental Road now underway.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the works were jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments.
“This work in outback Queensland will deliver vital safety improvements while creating economic stimulus in response to COVID-19,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Sealing more of this road means more cash flowing across all levels of the economy, creating financial stimulus at a time when it is needed most, as part of our $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure plan, which is supporting the nation’s ongoing recovery from COVID-19.”
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said sealing additional sections of the key inland transport corridor would provide an immediate boost to regional economies, business and industry including livestock and local jobs.
“These works stake us another step forward to fully sealing the 185-kilometre link between Bedourie and Birdsville,” Minister Bailey said.
“They will provide better and more reliable heavy vehicle access for the cattle, agriculture and mining industries. Supporting long-term productivity improvements in employment sectors such as these is a key component of economic recovery.
“Importantly, these projects are having a direct and positive impact at the local level by securing jobs, with work crews from Diamantina Shire Council delivering the upgrade.”
Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the Australian Government had repeatedly stepped up to invest in road upgrades in Maranoa.
“The works will support around 40 direct jobs,” Mr Littleproud said.
“These works mean we are supporting local jobs and backing our hard-hit construction businesses while delivering lasting infrastructure that will help our region thrive into the future.”
Queensland Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing and Regional Roads Bruce Saunders said the upgrade would be delivered progressively through two projects.
“Construction on the first project started this month with works on the second project to begin mid-year,” Mr Saunders said.
“Currently 62.5 kilometres between these two iconic towns remain unsealed and following the completion of all works by mid-2022, this will be reduced down to 32 kilometres.
“It means more people will be able to safely journey to annual drawcard events like the Birdsville Big Red Bash and Birdsville Races and our primary producers will be able to get their product to market safer and sooner.
“This investment is paving the way for Birdsville to experience greater growth in its position as a world-renowned tourist destination.”
Diamantina Shire Mayor Rob Dare said upgrading the road would help foster growth and prosperity for remote communities.
“Getting these works underway has given us a positive and welcome start to the new year,” Cr Dare said.
“These works offer our council road crew the ability to feel confident heading into 2021 with a secure job and reliable work in hand.
“There is no doubt these projects are greatly assisting our region in recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 and we are excited about the future opportunities on offer through continuing efforts to upgrade the road.”
Eyre Developmental Road projects
Paving and Sealing
- $10 million project funded by the Queensland Government under the Queensland Economic Strategy: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs
- Project will pave and seal 20.6 kilometres of road in two sections
- Works started in February 2021 with completion expected in mid-2022
- An average of 24 direct jobs will be supported over the life of the project.
- $4.5 million project funded under the Regional Economic Enabling Fund (REEF) on an 80:20 basis by the Australian Government ($3.6 million) and Queensland Government ($900,000)
- Project will progressively seal approximately nine kilometres of road about 16 kilometres north of Birdsville
- Works are expected to start in mid-2021 with completion expected in early 2022
- An average of 15 direct jobs will be supported over the life of the project.