Opposition leader Bill Shorten.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten. MICK TSIKAS

Shorten promises $280M for Mackay Ring Road


Funding for the highly anticipated Mackay Ring Road Stage 2 development is set to be secured regardless of who holds political power following this year's Federal election.

Ahead of his visit to Mackay today, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has committed $280million to deliver the second stage of the key infrastructure project to support the on-going economic development in the region.

The announcement is a huge boost for what has been a hotly debated topic in Mackay, solidifying the commitment from both parties to see out the completion of the construction.

In December last year, Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen confirmed the LNP had pledged $280million to the project also known as the Mackay Port Access Road.

He was joined in the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who at the time said the move would reap continued benefits for the region.

The project's second stage will connect the Bruce Highway north of Mackay at Glenella to Harbour Road, via an 8.2km corridor south of the rail line. It will support 418 direct local jobs during its delivery.

The Labor party's announcement yesterday alluded to the impending increasing volume of trucks travelling to and from the Port of Mackay, and said it was expected to double by 2031.

Belinda Hassan, Labor Candidate for Dawson, labelled the funding commitment as a "big win" for the Mackay region.

"I'm proud to have been able to secure this major funding commitment," Ms Hassan said.

"It will boost our local economic capacity so that we can generate new jobs now and for the future."

The funding commitment to the second stage of the Mackay Ring Road follows yesterday's announcement that a Shorten Labor Government would invest $800million to deliver the Rockhampton Ring Road.

Mr Shorten will be touring the region today.