Time to dig in for 'shovel-ready' projects

RACQ has welcomed news the majority of $225 million in Federal Government funding for road safety projects in Queensland would be spent in regional areas.

The Courier Mail reported almost 1000 construction jobs would be created across the State in the first of the ‘use it or lose it’ funding, which was part of a $2 billion investment nationally in road safety.

Projects earmarked for funding included intersection upgrades and roadside widening on the Bruce Highway at Nielsen Avenue in Rockhampton, as well as safety improvements, like the installation of median barriers, at various sections of the Bruce Highway.

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said 87 shovel-ready projects would share in the funds across Queensland.

“We know around two-thirds of fatalities happen outside our major cities in regional and remote areas, that’s why it’s so critical this money is spent where it’s needed most,” Dr Michael said.

“Last year, more than 270 people died on Queensland roads so we can’t afford to waste any time when it comes to delivering safer roads.

“We’ve been advocating for a significant funding pool for a mass action program of road safety treatments for many years to build the infrastructure that reduces the chances of a crash and minimises the severity if they occur.

“For example, head-on crashes on high speed roads are often fatal. Simple measures, like median barriers, help prevent these types of crashes– this is what we need more of.”

Dr Michael said the Club was calling for the ‘use it or lose it’ funding to become a permanent annual program.

“This is the first of three portions of funding available over the two-year program, but we’d like to see it extend beyond the current commitment,” she said.

“Road safety upgrades are critical in saving lives and we need to constantly be making improvements to help keep our roads safe.”