QTA backs long-term state roads planning

New Bruce Highway Trust to identify priority infrastructure projects through a 15-year forward plan

QTA backs long-term state roads planning
Annastacia Palaszczuk announced plans for the new Trust today.


Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced plans to set up a new Trust to oversee long-term investment in projects linked to the Bruce Highway.

The news has pleased the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA), which supports "bipartisan infrastructure investment" in the state. 

The Trust is to be part of the state government’s Future Proofing the Bruce policy, which, among other goals, aims to boost the state’s economic growth and exports through more efficient transport of goods.

State premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the policy will:

  • establish the Bruce Highway Trust to identify priorities through a 15-year forward plan and invest $1 billion in projects delivering long-term planning certainty under five-year action plans
  • commit $200 million annually to the Trust and provide an initial injection of $175 million for targeted productivity-boosting, safety and flood resilience projects
  • bring forward the upgrade of the Townsville Ring Road to a dual-carriageway between Douglas and Bohle Plains
  • fight for Queensland’s fair share of federal funding and return of the $116 million to the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program
  • complete the Gympie bypass with the construction of the final missing link – Cooroy to Curra (Section D).

Palaszczuk says the $1 billion a year spending is based on the federal government "meeting its fair share of funding commitments consistent with the funding arrangements for the National Land Transport Network". 

QTA says progressive planning to fund freight corridors that are a significant economic contributor to communities, will increase productivity on key road freight corridors to keep pace with contemporary efficiency demands.

"We fully support a bipartisan approach to infrastructure investment and this aligns with our priority to advance Queensland into the future by encouraging infrastructure investment that is necessary to give us a comparative advantage in connecting freight routes and moving freight more efficiently and safely," QTA CEO Gary Mahon says.

"As an industry, the transport and logistics sector is a key contributor to GDP in Australia.

"The industry accounts for close to 9 per cent of GDP, which is a statistic that we believe warrants this significant investment to ensure the safe and efficient carriage of goods which is fundamental to us all and the energy of our economy."

QTA has been named as a stakeholder in the Trust, as former CEO of the state body, Peter Garske, gets picked to chair the Bruce Highway Trust.

"On behalf of the QTA board of directors I congratulate, former QTA CEO Peter Garske on the announcement that he will chair the Bruce Highway Trust," Mahon says.

"Peter is the current vice chair of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and his years of experience and expertise in the road freight sector in Queensland will significantly contribute the role as chair of the Bruce Highway Trust."

Palaszczuk praises Garske, saying he is "a respected leader in the transport industry and the ideal person to lead the Bruce Highway Trust and develop a 15-year vision for this vital infrastructure to the Queensland economy".

The deputy chair will be nominated by the Opposition with an aim to "take politics out of Bruce Highway funding", state main roads and road safety minister Mark Bailey says.

"The Bruce Highway is too important to be used as a political football," Palaszczuk says.

"As a demonstration of our commitment, the Leader of the Opposition will be provided an opportunity to appoint the Trust’s deputy chair."

Bailey says it is important to future-proof the Bruce Highway because it links key business centres with five major ports and "carries millions of tonnes of our export goods – meat, livestock, sugar, grain, fruit and vegetables, and manufactured products".

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