Tenders have been called to build the $30 million jointly-funded flood immunity upgrade to Torbanlea-Pialba Road, as part of the Australian Government’s investment in improving the safety of Bruce Highway.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said, “This is a really important milestone which puts this project on track for construction to start in the first half of next year.

“Three floodways along Torbanlea-Pialba Road, between Churchill Mine Road and Toogoom Road, will be upgraded, including a new, four-span, concrete bridge across Beelbi Creek.

“The Australian Government is investing in a safer, smoother and more reliable Bruce Highway, with projects from Brisbane to Cairns. This will benefit Queensland locals, tourists and industry all along this key north-south route.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said intersection upgrades would also be undertaken to provide a safer, more resilient link for Hervey Bay and surrounding communities.

“Queensland’s wild weather can cause flooding, which can have an impact on how locals travel,” Mr Bailey said.

“This project is one the community has called for and I’m proud to be delivering through our record $27.5 billion road and transport plan.”

Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, Nola Marino, said a number of roads are being upgraded in the Hervey Bay area as part of the Hinkler Regional Deal.

“These upgrades will provide safety and productivity benefits to the region,” Ms Marino said.

“The Deal is supporting local industry and the community, setting a clear path to economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Federal Member for Hinkler, Keith Pitt, said living in Queensland meant unpredictable weather at times and this upgrade would improve the flood resilience of Torbanlea-Pialba Road.

“This road is the main thoroughfare for residents in Torbanlea and Howard to get them to Hervey Bay and the realignment of sections of this road will provide a flood-free link during one-in-100-year floods,” Mr Pitt said.

“Not only is it used by local residents, it’s frequented by tourists and an important freight route for many businesses in the Wide Bay Burnett region.

“We need to ensure that people can get where they need to, when they need to and this will also improve safety, create jobs and support our economic recovery.”

Queensland Assistant Regional Roads Minister and Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders, said the call for tenders was a huge step forward in preparing for this important upgrade.

“Of our record investment, nearly $1.5 billion in infrastructure will be delivered in the Wide Bay and Burnett regions over the next four years,” Mr Saunders said.

“This is a massive investment in our regional communities that will deliver real improvements to the lives of locals.

“I look forward to providing my community with certainty around when this project will be delivered.

“Once the construction contract has been awarded, we’ll have a better understanding of the timeframes for delivery.”

The $30 million project is funded under the Australian Government’s Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative, with the Australian Government contributing $24 million to the upgrade and the Queensland Government allocating $6 million.

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