The $25 million Flinders Highway project to replace seven ageing culverts between Charter Towers and Richmond in north Queensland has begun.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, was on site to help get work underway on the project, which is being delivered under the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program.

“These works are a prime example of the Australian Government improving key roads essential to the movement of people and freight in the north, which contributes almost 12 per cent of the value of our national economy,” Mr Chester said.

“This is the type of investment that will help us leverage every opportunity that presents itself in coming years, with the Flinders Highway being a nationally significant link for mining and agriculture freight between the Port of Townsville and the Mount Isa–Townsville Economic Zone.

“The region’s future economic and social growth relies on fit-for-purpose road infrastructure to link communities to jobs and essential services. Replacing these culverts will bring them up to current standards, which is critical to shifting the region’s freight and product to markets.”

Acting Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Steven Miles, said the project will create and sustain local jobs, boosting economic confidence in northern Queensland.

“An average of 65 direct jobs will be supported over the life of this project, which begins this week and is expected to be complete by June 2019, weather permitting,” Mr Miles said.

This project will also improve the highway’s reliability and flood immunity by allowing water to flow safely under the roadway.

The Australian Government has committed up to $20 million to the Flinders Highway (Charters Towers – Richmond) Culvert Upgrades, with the Queensland Government to fund the remaining $5 million.

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