Commitment. A majority state Labor government will invest $6 million into highway infrastructure within Circular Head.
The commitment is part of a larger $60 million statewide scheme.
The Bass Highway, both east and west of Smithton, is earmarked to receive redevelopment upgrades following the announcement from Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Shane Broad at Wells Waggons last Thursday.
Describing the highway between Smithton and Marrawah as a rollercoaster, Mr Broad said black spots between Detention River and Smithton would also be addressed as part of the election promise.
Mr Broad said the state owned road is a key tourist route and freight corridor for the state, further promising that a state Labor government would work to have this funding matched on a federal level.
“It’s an issue about safety for locals, businesses, for trucks, for buses and that’s why we see this as a priority; it is not just for one sector it is for the whole region, the whole economy and everybody who uses the road.”
Wells Waggons general manager Kimbra Wells and Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam welcomed the announcement.
“The road is so dangerous and the safety of the children is the highest priority for any bus driver, especially for our company, so to see the road improve no matter how long it takes and the inconvenience [of roadworks projects], I think that outcome will be the best,” Ms Wells said.
Mayor Quilliam said the funding announcement would support the $1.5 million in economic value travelling out of the region annually.
“You have to start somewhere and this is a great start,” he said.
“We recognise that it cannot all be done in four years, it is a longterm project but my hope will be that we will work . . . [to] get the worse pieces done first.”
Mayor Quilliam said he would like to see safer entrances to coastal communities such as Crayfish Creek, Edgcumbe Beach and Detention River and highway widening east of Smithton while a complete renewal of the highway leading to Marrawah is essential for the safety of all road users.
New Circular Head Council general manager Scott Riley said potential upgrades would strengthen industries within Circular Head.
“There is a number of opportunities to advance further industries if you have good infrastructure in place,” he said.