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BUDGET: Cash splashed to fix Ipswich's congested highway

The Cunningham Highway will receive a $170 million boost by the Federal Government.
The Cunningham Highway will receive a $170 million boost by the Federal Government. David Nielsen

ONE of Ipswich's worst intersections will be fixed with the Federal Government committing to fund an upgrade to the Cunningham Highway.

In his third budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison revealed $170 million would go towards improving the dreaded Amberley Interchange.

The project will include a realignment of the highway between Yamanto and Ebenezer Creek and an upgrade of the Ipswich-Rosewood Rd.

For several decades the section of road has been on the region's infrastructure wishlist.

Expansions and growing military activity at RAAF Base Amberley has put pressure on the interchange.

The $170 million funding injection also comes as the Ipswich City Council considers a proposal from Lantrak to move 1 million tonnes of landfill each year to rehabilitate the New Hope coal mine at Jeebropilly.

According to the application more than 250 heavy vehicles would transit the highway each day.

The government says the Cunningham Highway upgrade will "improve travel reliability and reduce congestion".

It is expected the Queensland Labor Government will match the funding to start the $340 million project.

Federal Labor MP Shayne Neumann confirmed his party would offer bipartisan support and also commit to fixing the highway in a "major boost for the economic capacity of the Ipswich region".

"The road takes 2700 heavy vehicle movements a day, and plays a significant role in transporting people and freight between Brisbane and Sydney," he said.

"These vital upgrades to the Cunningham Highway have long been identified on Infrastructure Australia's Infrastructure Priority List.

"That's why it's disappointing the Turnbull LNP Government have had to be dragged kicking and screaming to fund this project."

Become an entrepreneur

OLDER residents in Ipswich will be encouraged to become entrepreneurs so they can stay in the workforce longer.

The Federal Government will roll out 20 new entrepreneurship facilitators across the regions over the next four years.

Ipswich, along with central Queensland, Ballina and Tweed, will benefit from the program.

The small business experts will teach mature-age people how to start and maintain sustainable businesses.

The Federal Government has set aside $2.7 million in the 2018-19 financial year for the project.

A further $15 million will fund the program until June of 2022.

The government has also committed to continuing the Job Change project that assists mature-age workers to remain in the workforce as retirement and pension ages creep upwards.

 

United States Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-102 Squadron takes off from RAAF Base Amberley, with an RAAF C-17 Globemaster flying in circuit. The Squadron is normally based on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.
United States Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-102 Squadron takes off from RAAF Base Amberley, with an RAAF C-17 Globemaster flying in circuit. The Squadron is normally based on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. SGT Peter Borys

Amberley cashes in on Defence spending

RAAF Base Amberley will take a share in millions of dollars in upgrades in the Defence portfolio.

A new Air Traffic Control Radar will be installed at Amberley as part of an estimated $96 million investment in new technology across several bases.

Working accommodation, maintenance, warehousing and training facilities will be built to support the introduction of the Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability aircraft.

The project is scheduled for completion by early 2021.

A C-17 maintenance facility, aircraft apron and associated infrastructure will also be constructed.

It is scheduled for completion by early 2019.

Topics:  cunningham highway ebenezer federal budget 2018 infrastructure scott morrison shayne neumann willowbank