Driving economic development

Article image - Driving economic development The IQ-RAP is a major initiative to drive economic growth into regional Queensland. Photo by Andrea Ferris, Central Highlands Regional Council

The Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan (IQ-RAP) is the key to boosting economic development and jobs in regional areas, such as the Central Highlands according to Central Highland’s Mayor, Councillor Kerry Hayes.

“Now, more than ever, our region is focussing on economic growth and development from the non-resource sector, particularly tourism, agriculture and horticulture.

“To do this well, we need to have a robust, safe and efficient road network that will enhance the delivery of goods and services, assist in the management of natural disasters and severe weather events, attract new investors and open up opportunities for tourism.

“This action plan identifies the strategic inland Queensland road network and prioritises upgrades over the next 18 years and is supported wholeheartedly by every regional council in western Queensland.

“According to the plan, the Central Highlands includes a priority one and two road system and is located within key tourism routes.

“The IQ-RAP will be used to inform both the Australian and Queensland Governments of road funding priorities across 33 regional, rural and remote local government areas.

“It’s interesting to reflect that 52 percent of Queensland’s economy, that is $150 billion per year, is generated outside Greater Brisbane.

“There’s no doubt the plan will be an important road funding champion for this community and will enhance our bid for support for key projects such as the Yamala intermodal hub, the meat processing works and the oilseed processing facility.”

The IQ-RAP was developed by consultants Harrison Infrastructure Group on behalf of the IQ-RAP Working Group representing a strategic alliance of 33 councils, eight Regional Roads and Transport Groups, four Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees, the North Queensland RDA alliance and RACQ.

It has established a methodology for prioritisation of road network investments in the western and eastern zones of Queensland, which is based on: economic value, strategic intent, safety, access and social value.

More information can be found at www.rdanwq.org.au