Works have begun on the $53 million Kennedy Developmental Road Upgrade, designed to improve freight reliability and efficiency for North Queensland. The project is funded under the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Programme.
Works officially kicked off in late July 2017 on the $53.32 million Kennedy Developmental Road (Hann Highway) upgrades between Mount Garnet and Hughenden, with the project set to deliver a more reliable freight and tourist route for North Queensland along with jobs in local communities.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the upgrades, which included sealing and widening works, were vital for economic development in the region.
“This is one of the key projects being delivered through the Australian Government’s $600 million Northern Australia Roads Programme, which will improve safety and efficiently for all users, particularly heavy vehicles,” Mr Chester said.
“These works are also going to be important to local communities, with Flinders and Etheridge Shire Councils carrying out some of the works, which have indigenous employment and procurement targets.”
Queensland Main Roads and Road Safety Minister, Mark Bailey, said 42.15km of Kennedy Developmental Road would be sealed between The Lynd and Hughenden and 3.4km would be widened between Mount Garnet and The Lynd.
“This upgrade to the Hann Highway will improve travel times and road safety as well as boosting economic productivity in north west Queensland by creating jobs for locals,” Mr Bailey said.
“We have been working with the Flinders and Etheridge Shire councils to identify opportunities for local businesses and employment, including indigenous employment.
“Widening works between Mount Garnet and the Lynd are expected to be completed by early 2018, and the progressive sealing works between The Lynd and Hughenden are expected to be completed by late 2019, weather permitting.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator, Matthew Canavan, was on site to see the first sod turned.
“This project will upgrade an important transport link for tourism, freight and cattle movements through Queensland’s North West region,” Senator Canavan said.
“It will do more than simply improve travel times – it’s going to improve access from Cairns to the North West Minerals Province, and from Charters Towers and Southern Queensland into the agricultural areas.
“Investing in better roads means our graziers, miners and other producers can get their products to national and international markets more easily. It also supports new jobs and means a long term boost to our regions and the national economy.
“An average of 130 jobs will be created over the life of this project, and there’ll also be spinoff benefits for other industries.”
The Australian Government is contributing $42.66 million and the Queensland Government $10.66 million to the project.