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Better roads for Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast.



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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon John Anderson MP Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services Leader of The Nationals

22 January 2004 A7/2004

BETTER ROADS FOR ROCKHAMPTON AND THE CAPRICORN COAST

Local roads in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast will be the winner from the Coalition Government's decision to extend the Roads to Recovery programme for another four years, the Acting Prime Minister and Leader of The Nationals, John Anderson, said today.

Mr Anderson announced today that the Government will extend the Roads to Recovery programme until 2009. The decision will secure an extra $1.2 billion ($300 million a year) for Australia's local roads. Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast also stand to benefit from the Government's decision to boost transport funding in regional and outer metropolitan areas by $810 million over three years from 2006-07.

"The Nationals' candidate for Keppel, Neil Fisher, has campaigned hard for better roads in the area, and will be a great local representative. We're doing our part with today's announcement, but the state needs a Coalition Government that will care about regional issues and not just focus on Brisbane," Mr Anderson said.

"The Roads to Recovery programme has been a huge success since we introduced it in 2001. It is the largest commitment by any Australian Government towards fixing Australia's local roads. The money goes directly to local authorities, who have used it to fund almost 10,000 projects.

"Rockhampton City Council and the Livingstone Shire Council will each receive $2.1 million by the time the current programme ends in 2005. They are using the funds to catch up on important road works, such as replacing the Herbert Creek bridge ($76,774) and resurfacing Edington Street in North Rockhampton ($389,894).

"Today's decision means that the region's local authorities will be able to fund more projects like these, with enormous benefits for everyone who travels on our roads. Neil Fisher and have already briefed on the urgent need for upgrades to Artillery Road, Stanage Road and Bungandarra Road.

"The extended programme will also help local authorities work together to build new regional land transport infrastructure, which is essential for building new industries but is often beyond the financial capacity of individual councils. $100 million a year will be provided to local authorities to build land transport infrastructure projects of strategic regional importance. The remainder of the funding, $200 million a year, will continue to be allocated to councils for local roads by formula, as at present," Mr Anderson said.

Media Contacts

Clare Siddins ( travelling with the Acting Prime Minister ) 0427 200 674

Bill McKinley ( Minister Anderson's Office ) 02 6277 7680