ROAD SAFETY FUNDING FLOWS TO WIDE BAY

The Australian Government is investing $6.64 million in new projects to make the Wide Bay Highway, Tin Can Bay Road, and Kin Kin Road safer, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announced today.

“The Wide Bay Highway between Gympie and Goomeri will be upgraded with new culverts, clearing and installation of guardrails, with the Australian Government contributing $1.28 million towards the cost of the $1.6 million project,” Mr O’Brien said.

“East of Gympie, the Australian Government will invest $560,000 to widen and install centre lines along a 36km section of Tin Can Bay Road, between the Lillis Road and Dugong Street intersections, and the Queensland Government will provide $140,000 towards the cost of the project.

“A section of Kin Kin Road range between Williams Road and Turnbull Road will be widened through a new $6 million project, with the Australian Government contributing $4.8 million and the Queensland Government $1.2 million to make the road safer.

“These are all state roads, which means the Queensland Government is responsible for their improvement, repair and maintenance, but this funding from the Australian Government encourages them to prioritise and fast track these projects and get on with the job of making these roads safer for all road users.

“This investment from the Australian Government through the $3 billion Road Safety Program also means the Queensland Government has more money to invest in these roads to upgrade and improve them.”

Mr O’Brien said the projects will enhance road safety while also supporting construction activity and local jobs.

“This funding provides a critical boost to local jobs and Wide Bay’s economy and it also delivers upgrade works to help keep people safe on our roads,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Australian Government contributed $6,640,000, and the Queensland Government contributed $1,660,000 to the projects.

“A total of $8.3 million will be invested in Wide Bay to fund these safety improvements to help reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries occurring on our roads,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The most important thing we can do for our community is to follow the road rules and drive to conditions to ensure we all get home safely.

“It’s a national tragedy that 1,200 people die and 40,000 people are seriously injured on our roads each year, and all road users, road designers and engineers, vehicle manufacturers, regulators, legislators and law enforcement each have a vital role to keep our roads safe.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said one life lost on Australian roads is one too many.

“That’s why the Australian Government has committed $3 billion for the nationwide Road Safety Program,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Our Government is committed to keeping our communities safe, while securing our economic recovery.

“The funding supports the fast roll-out of life-saving safety works on rural and regional roads, and is another example of the Australian Government working to reduce the number of Australians missing around the dinner table due to tragedies on our roads.”

The Australian Government’s funding for the Road Safety Program is subject to ‘use it or lose it’ provisions and will deliver life-saving treatments on regional roads and protect vulnerable road users across Queensland while also supporting local jobs and providing a welcome boost to local economies.

The ‘use it or lose it’ provisions require states and territories to use their notionally allocated funds within a timeframe, or the funds can be reallocated to projects in other jurisdictions.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said road safety was a key priority for the Australian Government and this investment in road upgrades would provide a boost to the economy while ensuring Australians can get home sooner and safer.

“Making our roads safer is a critical component of our work to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads and move towards achieving vision zero—that is zero deaths or serious injuries on our roads by 2050,” Mr Buchholz said.

“We are also investing significantly in other life-saving road safety initiatives including the Black Spot Program, Targeted Road Safety Works initiative and Road Safety Innovation Fund.

“This additional funding complements that work, resulting in an even greater roll out of improved infrastructure and roads right across the nation.”

For more information on the Australian Government’s road safety initiatives, visit www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au