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Townsville Port access road.

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I am pleased to announce today that the Australian Government will provide a $95 million contribution for the construction of the Townsville Port Access Road as part of the Coalition’s 2020 Plan for Australia’s Transport Future.

This link will provide a long term strategic highway link to the Port of Townsville supporting the continued growth of the region’s export industries.

I wish to particularly acknowledge the tireless representations of the Member for Herbert, the Hon Peter Lindsay MP, to secure this commitment for the local community, and indeed for the benefit of the entire region.

The Port of Townsville is growing, with particular emphasis on bulk freight.

Exports include minerals, sugar, fertiliser, molasses, general cargo, timber, meat products and cattle. The major imports are nickel ore, oil, cement, zinc concentrates and general cargo.

Townsville Port Access Road will be funded as part of the AusLink National Network. The rail line to the port is already included on the AusLink Network.

Road freight to the port from the south and west is currently carried along the Bruce and Flinders Highways and Abbott and Boundary Streets.

This has led to heavy vehicles having to using residential streets, with associated noise, vibration and urban amenity problems for residents.

The Townsville Port Access Road will resolve this situation by directly linking the Flinders and Bruce Highways to the Port of Townsville.

Australian Government funding for this project is capped at $95 million with the remainder to be provided by the Queensland Government.

This project is part of the Coalition's multi billion dollar plan to improve road and rail access to Australia's ports and to reduce the number of trucks using suburban roads.

5 October 2007