THE premier has touched down in Mackay to outline a billion dollar a year vision to upgrade the Bruce Highway, 'the state's longest transport and economic artery which will help build on record exports, create regional jobs and improve flood prone hotspots'.
Under the Future-proofing the Bruce plan, a re-elected Palaszczuk Government would establish the Bruce Highway Trust to identify priority projects through a 15-year forward plan and invest $1billion in projects delivering long-term planning certainty under five-year action plans.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Bruce Highway played an essential role in the life of Queensland and its economy.
"Future-proofing the Bruce is not just about making it quicker and safer to get from A to B," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"It's about boosting our economic growth and our exports - already a record $70.8billion in the year to September - through more efficient transport of goods from our regional producers to the rest of Australia and the world."
"It's about jobs, with extra and more efficient economic activity supporting existing jobs and creating new ones. The cities, towns and regions that the Bruce connects already support an estimated 600,000 jobs," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"It's about delivering a 1700 km world-class highway that's resistant to cyclones and floods so we can better protect local communities, keep our state moving in times of disaster, and cut repair and restoration bills into the future.
"We need to future-proof the Bruce because it links major business centres with five major ports and carries millions of tonnes of our export goods - meat, livestock, sugar, grain, fruit and vegetables, and manufactured products."
Roads are a hot topic already in this state election, with the LNP last week pledging $4million towards an upgrade of the Proserpine-Shute Harbour Rd/ Bruce Hwy intersection.
And the Mercury has also recently identified the importance of fast-tracking stage one and two of the $500million Mackay Ring Road project, which will open up access to the Port of Mackay and deliver more than 500 jobs.
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