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Gillard announces $4bn boost for Bruce Highway

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The Federal Government will spend an extra $4.1 billion over 10 years on the Bruce Highway under a new funding package announced today.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard detailed the plan during her visit to Queensland today, with the money going toward flood immunity projects, extra lanes, bridgeworks, planning studies, new overtaking lanes and the removal of black spots.

Areas to receive funding between the 2013 and 2022 financial years include Mackay, the Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Caboolture, Cairns and Ingham.

The funding adds to existing works already underway on the highway, such as upgrades between Cooroy and Curra, the completion of the Townsville Ring Road and works between Caboolture and Caloundra.

“We are determined to continue the work we began five years ago on building a Bruce Highway which supports Queensland’s growth and development, with this latest announcement taking our total commitment to this vital economic lifeline to $5.7 billion,” Gillard says.

“Compared to the former Howard Government’s record of $1.3 billion, we have committed more than four times as much over a similar period of time, and right now hundreds of workers are onsite upgrading 90km of the highway.”

Gillard says the 10-year plan will improve safety, cut travel times, ease congestion and improve the highway’s ability to withstand flooding.

“The package of works will also lower transport costs and boost national productivity,” she says.

Source: ATN

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