An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

RDA Committees plan for the future of Queensland roads

24 February 2016

RDA Townsville and North West Queensland (RDA TNWQ) are playing a lead role in facilitating the development of the Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan (IQ-RAP).

IQ-RAP is the first of its type in Australia, which has been developed through a collaboration of 47 funding partners, including several RDA committees.

RDA TNWQ first considered the concept of such a plan, after the success of the Bruce Highway Action Plan in securing funding commitments from the Australian and Queensland governments.

In December 2013, RDA TNWQ engaged with other RDAs in central, north and south west Queensland and held a forum in Longreach, where the Interim Working Group was formed and RDA TNWQ took on the role of Secretariat.

The other RDA committees involved are Far North Queensland and Torres Strait, Darling Downs South West, Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday and Fitzroy and Central West.

IQ-RAP Secretariat and RDA TNWQ Chief Executive Officer Glenys Schuntner said there was an opportunity for achieving regional economic development outcomes through greater investment on inland roads through greater cross-regional collaboration.

“Common goals to create jobs, develop and sustain our regional communities, improve productivity for all industries and businesses and safety for all using the inland Queensland road network, have resulted in a strategic alliance of RDA committees, 33 councils, eight Regional Roads and Transport Groups and RACQ,” Ms Schuntner said.

IQ-RAP Working Group Chair Cr Peter Maguire said the plan identifies the road network and prioritises upgrades over the next 18 years.

“A key objective of the plan is to establish a methodology for prioritising road network investments in the area west of the Bruce Highway and outside the South East corner, which covers 19% of Australia or 82% of Queensland,” Cr Maguire said.

“16,000 km of strategic road network was assessed, using a multi-criteria analysis methodology, which reviewed economic value, strategic intent, safety, access and social value.”

RDA TNWQ Committee Member and Working Group Member David Donohue said the plan has identified $5 billion of works which are required over 18 years.

“The IQ-RAP will be used to inform the Australian and Queensland Governments of road funding priorities across 33 local government areas,” Mr Donohue said.

“Importantly, the IQ-RAP methodology can also be applied to other regions.”

Since the IQ-RAP was launched earlier this month, Working Group members have met with Australian and Queensland politicians and departments to brief them on the IQ-RAP and the opportunities it presents to develop northern and rural Queensland, their industries, businesses and communities. Further information and a copy of the IQ-RAP is available on the RDA TNWQ website.