The Federal and Queensland Governments are jointly funding the construction of the $1.73 billion Rockhampton Ring Road, which is set to open up new travel routes to critical services as well as key leisure, retail, education and defence facilities.

The commitment will deliver the full 17.4 km Rockhampton Ring Road, with an increased Australian Government commitment of $1.2 billion and an increased Queensland Government commitment to $530 million.

This project will increase connections to key precincts in the city and improve access, travel times to vital services including the hospital and emergency services, and road safety.

The Federal Government has said that the Rockhampton Ring Road project is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build capability within the regional workforce, with an extended pipeline of road infrastructure construction that provides opportunities for apprentices and trainees, engineers and technical services to be engaged on this significant infrastructure build.

Construction on the first $280 million package of works started in November 2023.

Both contractor joint ventures mobilised to site in November to start construction at key work locations in Parkhurst and on Rockhampton-Ridgelands Road in West Rockhampton.

Construction on this phase of the Rockhampton Ring Road is expected to take up to two years to complete.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that in late 2023 the Federal and Queensland Governments confirmed construction would be underway on the Rockhampton Ring Road by the end of the year.

“And here we are, two months into construction to deliver this essential infrastructure project for Central Queensland,” Mr Albanese said. 

“This significant investment by the Federal and Queensland Governments is a long-term, visionary project for Queensland’s biggest highway, the lifeline for the state of Queensland that will unlock future economic growth, build flood resilience, reduce travel times, improve road safety and support jobs.”

Queensland Premier, Steven Miles, said that the Rockhampton Ring Road will be a critical new artery for central Queensland and the broader Bruce Highway.

“It means a safer and quicker drive for locals and more productive travel for our transport sector, moving freight around the state,” Mr Miles said. 

“When complete, big trucks will avoid 19 sets of traffic lights through the middle of Rockhampton, which has long been regarded as the pinch point for travel on the Bruce Highway. That is critical for Queensland’s economic growth.

“I’m proud that our governments have come together to fully fund the Rockhampton Ring Road – to create jobs, local supply chain opportunities, and better connections for the region.”

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, said that the Federal Government’s commitment to fund and deliver the project ensures that Rockhampton and the central Queensland region can maximise both the economic and human benefit from the project, building capability and skills in the region.

“I am delighted that this will support industries and keep freight moving throughout Queensland,” Ms King said. 

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Bart Mellish, said that finalising the agreement between the Federal and Queensland Governments to fund the full cost of the Rockhampton Ring Road is testament to the commitment the State Government has to regional Queensland.

“The Rockhampton Ring Road will transform Rockhampton,” Mr Mellish said. 

“Increased connections to key precincts in the city will improve access and travel times to critical services including the hospital and emergency services, open up new travel routes for the defence services, the leisure, retail and education precincts, and move through-freight out of the city, decreasing conflicts between heavy vehicles and commuter traffic, improving road safety and the ambience of the city.”

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