Queensland inland road network upgrade

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Improvements for national, state and local roads located in inland Queensland
Priority Initiative
Small towns, rural communities and remote areas
National Connectivity
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Medium term (5-10 years)
Proposed By
Infrastructure Australia identified initiative
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2020


Deteriorating roads and bridges in regional Queensland are increasing travel times, vehicle operating costs and safety risks. Flooding is also an issue for many of these roads.

Key routes affected by these issues include:

  • the Warrego, Landsborough, Flinders, Barkly, Carnarvon, Dawson, Peak Downs and Capricorn Highways

  • the Kennedy Highway and Developmental Road

  • the Gregory Highway and Developmental Road

  • The Gulf Developmental Road.

Queensland’s road freight network contains coastal and inland routes, with the inland routes being 10 times longer in total kilometres. In 2016-17, the Queensland freight task was estimated to be 170 billion tonne kilometres, with 65% moved by road. The freight task is projected to grow by 20% over the next decade.

It is likely that growth in population, employment, tourism and freight volumes will exacerbate these safety and capacity issues, resulting in nationally significant productivity losses.

Proposed initiative

The initiative proposes a strategy that prioritises investment based on the goals of improving productivity and safety on regional Queensland roads, and sustaining regional communities.

The initiative includes improvements to address safety, surface issues, flooding, bridge strength and width, road alignments, widening and pavement sealing.

This initiative originated from a detailed submission by RDA Townsville and North West Queensland, the Secretariat of the Inland Queensland Roads Action Project, on behalf of all 34 funding partners, including 28 local governments, 5 RDA Committees and the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland.

Next steps

Proponent to be identified.