The Palaszczuk Government has announced shovels will hit the ground in coming weeks on the much-anticipated extension of Bells Creek Arterial Road to the Bruce Highway, with funding locked in as part of a $57 million congestion-busting, job-creating blitz for the southern Sunshine Coast.
The $35 million for the Bells Creek Arterial Road will unlock $300 million of investment in the region as part of the Caloundra South development, supporting more than 850 direct and indirect jobs.
It also includes $11 million for an $18.2 million extension of Third Avenue to Nicklin Way, improving access to the CBD, with the Federal Government’s $7 million share expected to be confirmed as part of their Budget.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the investment builds on more than $2 billion in local Bruce Highway and rail upgrades underway right now, with the state funding fully committed in the roads and transport budget as part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s partnership with Stockland means we’ll be able to create another 314 jobs and get works started on the extension in the next two to four weeks, connecting families and tradies with the Bruce Highway at Roys Road,” Mr Bailey said.
“It’s this government that has a plan for economic recovery and a plan to create jobs and tackle congestion, with even more funding being added to our $3.13 billion, 3,000 job plan for roads and transport upgrades in the region.
“Campbell Newman and his LNP protégé Deb Frecklington cut $1.6 billion from Queensland roads when they were in government.
“We’ve restored the LNP’s cuts and are building more projects for the coast than ever before with four Bruce Highway upgrades in the region, a major rail duplication and better local roads that will create thousands of jobs for local families.”
David Laner, Queensland General Manager at Stockland said: “We welcome the Government’s commitment to funding this regionally significant piece of infrastructure, enabling it’s immediate commencement.
“The project will unlock jobs and economic investment in the short-term and provide significant long-term transport and connectivity benefits to the region,” Mr Laner said.
Mr Bailey said the $7 million in state funding and $4.2 million in council funding towards an $18.2 million extension of Third Avenue to Nicklin Way at Caloundra would provide an alternative road for families to the Caloundra CBD and take traffic away from the busy Caloundra Road roundabout.
Mr Bailey said the project was a great example of how all levels of government are working together on the Sunshine Coast, with council and the Australian Government to also fund the upgrade.
Sunshine Coast Council Acting Mayor Councillor Rick Baberowski and Councillor Terry Landsberg (whose Division takes in much of the Caloundra area) welcomed the Queensland Government’s commitment to the Nicklin Way/Third Avenue intersection upgrade project.
“This is a great example of the collaborative approach that we have fostered with the Department of Transport and Main Roads focussed on a “one network” approach” to delivering a safer and more efficient road network on the Sunshine Coast,” Acting Mayor Baberowski said.
“If the Federal Government’s contribution can now be assured, this project will be able to come to fruition”.
“What is important about this commitment is that it is an essential first phase in delivering a much needed alternative access to the Caloundra CBD and beaches,” Cr Landsberg said.
“This will provide an opportunity to relieve some of the heavy congestion on Caloundra Road, which has become a daily nightmare for local residents.”
Mr Bailey said funding to build new roads along Third Avenue and Bells Creek Arterial Road built on $3.75 million to upgrade the Ridgewood Road intersection, where early works are now underway.
“Queenslanders have stepped up when it comes to managing the health response to COVID-19. Because of their efforts, we’ve been able to continue Queensland’s plan for economic recovery, which includes $1 billion in road stimulus announce since April for projects like Ridgewood Road,” Mr Bailey said.
“Only the Palaszczuk Government listens to the community, creates jobs and is building the roads the Sunshine Coast needs.”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey