The Cloncurry Shire Council will receive $4.6 million in Australian Government funding towards the $6.6 million Duchess – Phosphate Hill Road project that will benefit the region, particularly the mining and cattle industries, Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, Ron Boswell, said today.
The funding will be provided through the $220 million AusLink’s Strategic Regional Programme.
“This is a significant infrastructure project for regional Queensland and I congratulate the Cloncurry Shire Council for its successful application,” Senator Boswell said.
“The project will provide all weather access for all types of road transport to Phosphate Hill and nearby mines eliminating the impact on operations caused by road closures during the wet season.
“Sealing the 25 kilometre of road between the mines, processing plant and the rail head removes impediments to the export capabilities of the mines in the area,” he said.
The Cloncurry Shire Council will contribute $300,000 of their own funds and a further $1.7 million which are funds that the Council has collected from the local mining companies to develop infrastructure in the Shire to support the mining operations.
The project is expected to take a year to complete.
Senator Boswell said the project will support the established mining companies in the region and the mining exploration work that is continuing to find new resources for future growth.
"The mining industry is a major regional employer and this project will reduce transport costs for employers, contractors and suppliers accessing these mines.
“This area is also a rich grazing area for breeding and fattening of cattle. The project will assist this industry to access markets and abattoirs in north Queensland,” he said.
495 applications for funding through the Strategic Regional Programme were received nationwide, seeking more than $1 billion in funding. Projects submitted under the small category of the programme are still under active consideration.
“The AusLink’s Strategic Regional Programme is designed to assist councils develop regional transport infrastructure supporting industry, tourism and economic development," Senator Boswell said. "This project will certainly meet these objectives."
This grant builds on the previously announced $5.025 million for Queensland regional roads which included the upgrade of Tableland Road between Gladstone and Bundaberg and the construction of Russett Park Bridge in North Queensland, completed this year. $3 million was also provided for the Queensland priority sections of the Outback Way, a $10 million project spanning Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
“The Australian Government’s commitment to local roads improvements under AusLink has reached $2 billion in the financial years of 2004-05 to 2008-09, enabling councils to accelerate works to maintain and improve the local road network,” Senator Boswell said.
More details – Leah Nicoll in Senator Ron Boswell’s office on 3001 8150