The Australian Government has approved funding for a feasibility study into a new bridge over Burrum River in Queensland to be conducted by Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the study will investigate potential alignment options between Burrum and Buxton.

“The Australian Government committed $200,000 during the 2016 election campaign towards a feasibility study for a new road bridge over the Burrum River,” Mr Chester said.

“The Fraser Coast Regional Council recently provided the Australian Government with the necessary information to progress the study which is expected to explore the overall cost of a new bridge, connecting roads and infrastructure, benefits to the community, environmental impacts, and land acquisition. It is expected consultants will be appointed in the coming months.”

Federal Member for Hinkler, Keith Pitt, said the study has been a long time coming and will finally show if the project is feasible, economically viable and at what cost to taxpayers.

“For ten years this project has been discussed but no one has ever had real facts on how much it would cost, where it would go, what traffic volumes it could bring and the economic impact,” Mr Pitt said.

“I said the Federal Government would fund a feasibility study to see once and for all if this project stacks up. No more pie in the sky figures. We’ll have a real budget that the Queensland State Government can use to assess whether it wants to fund this project.”

Fraser Coast Regional Council Mayor, Chris Loft, said the feasibility study will deliver a much needed boost in confidence for the local business community.

“I am pleased the Fraser Coast Regional Council has been given the greenlight to proceed with the study, and we look forward to working with the Bundaberg Regional Council to deliver the study by mid 2018,” Mr Loft said.

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor, Jack Dempsey, welcomed the Government’s commitment to the study.

“We’re really pleased to see the study proceed. We hope the study will confirm if the benefits of a new road bridge outweigh the costs, which will put to bed the impasse of whether an additional road crossing over Burrum River has merit. The study is expected to begin in late 2017 and be completed by mid-2018,” Mr Dempsey said.

The $200,000 feasibility study for the Burrum Bridge is being fully funded by the Australian Government.

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