14 June 2015
North West Star
INDUSTRY productivity and road safety in the North West received a major boost, with Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey today opening Andrew Daniels Drive, Cloncurry’s heavy vehicle bypass on Friday morning.
Mr Hockey was a passenger in the first truck to travel on the bypass, driven by Mick Curley from Curley Cattle Transport.
The $13-million bypass was the first road that Mr Hockey has opened.
Mr Hockey said the bypass would make the central business district safer, but would also be an economic benefit.
He stayed in the town on the Thursday night after attending the Cattleman’s Dinner.
Cloncurry Mayor Andrew Daniels – inspiring the name of the by-pass – had “a great sense of humour” for setting up the Treasurer’s accommodation next to the main road where road trains frequently travelled.
“We counted every road train knowing this was the last night they were going to go through the town,” Mr Hockey said.
Cr Daniels said about 4.6kilometres of new road had been constructed, and T-intersection works at Railway Street and the Flinders Highway and a four-way intersection at Sir Hudson Fysh Drive had been completed.
“I’ll continue to work with, and advocate to, the Australian and Queensland governments to develop northern Australia,” Cr Daniels said.
‘‘The Cloncurry Heavy Vehicle Bypass is another step in that journey.’’
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian government provided $8.2 million towards the bypass, which connects the Flinders Highway and the Barkly Highway.
“Cloncurry is in the heart of the North West Queensland Mineral Province, producing 80 per cent of Queensland’s mineral wealth, and this bypass will provide a vital freight link between northern Australia and the east coast and beyond,” Mr Truss said.
Mr Hockey said the Australian government was investing a record $13.4 billion in building Queensland’s future infrastructure, ‘‘which will help drive economic growth, slash travel times and create thousands of jobs’’.
“The completion of this project here in Cloncurry is an example of our commitment to improve traffic safety and efficiency, with the bypass set to improve travel times for heavy vehicles and save fuel costs for industry.”
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey said the Queensland government provided $4.82 million towards the upgrade.
“We recognise the importance of a safe and reliable road network for people who live and work in regional areas. Roads are the lifeblood for many communities in remote parts of Queensland, especially in the North West,” Mr Bailey said.
‘‘This bypass will make a real difference for drivers of heavy vehicles, as well as residents and visitors to the region.
“As an added bonus, this project has delivered 15 direct jobs at a time when jobs and job security are more important than ever.”
Courtesy of the North West Star