The Federal Government and Council will partner in two key projects worth more than $3 million to improve heavy vehicle transport operations throughout the Bundaberg Region.
Funded on a 50/50 cost basis, the projects will formalise a heavy vehicle parking area north of Gin Gin and replace and improve a flood-prone bridge near Bucca.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said formalising the currently unsealed heavy vehicle parking area adjacent to the Gin Gin Saleyards would benefit the drivers of numerous trucks and buses who utilise the site year-round.
He said Council will match the Federal Government's contribution of $635,000 for the project.
Gin Gin bus driver Phillip Aikenhead, who transports workers from Gin Gin to Mount Perry gold mine on a daily basis, said an upgrade of the site was long overdue.
“It attracts a lot of traffic. On sale days you have cattle being transported and multiple freight companies, as well as the Army, use this area as a stop,” he said.
“There’s not much in the way of traffic here at this time of day but come nightfall it can be overflowing as drivers pull up for their compulsory break,” Phillip said.
“During the dry weather it is a dust bowl and when wet – well you can see the manner in which the area has been chopped up.
“Vehicles constantly bottom out and you could lose a B-double down some of those holes,” he said.
Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, said the funding was being delivered under round five of the Bridges Renewal Program and round seven of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.
Divisional representative Cr Wayne Honor said he was delighted to see two high priority regional projects gain funding.
“This will be a huge boost for the transport sector which has really come to the fore as a lifeline across our nation during the current pandemic,” he said.
“To have facilities that allow transport to function to capacity is a major stimulus for the economy.
“Additionally, both these projects also trickle down to provide huge benefits for residents with the upgrading of the parking area delivering positive environmental outcomes and the new bridge providing improved safety and connectivity.”
Cr Honor said the Boggy Creek bridge announcement was also welcome news.
“This bridge has had perceived safety concerns and has impacted local residents for years and a new bridge will alleviate a lot of those concerns,” he said.
“The 2010 and 2013 floods caused a lot of stress for local residents in this area and a new bridge will be another step forward in ensuring access routes remain open for residents and industry during periods of inundation.”
The Federal Government and Council will each contribute $870,000 toward the bridge replacement.