Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government is committed to investing in cycling infrastructure to make it easier and safer for more people to ride bikes across Queensland.
“Two new sections of the Bluewater Trail have already been completed and Council is currently carrying out construction of another new path between Old Eimeo Road and Melanie Street in Eimeo,” said Mr Bailey.
“These works are part of the $17 million investment the Palaszczuk Government is making to support the delivery of safe cycling infrastructure by local governments across the state in 2017-18.
“We know that, on average, every dollar we invest in cycling infrastructure will return nearly five dollars in economic benefit to Queensland with improved health outcomes, reduced traffic congestion, and lower transport costs.
“We also know that more Queenslanders want to cycle, and projects like these make cycling safer and encourage ‘more cycling, more often’.”
The three new shared paths were jointly funded by Mackay Regional Council and the Palaszczuk Government’s Cycle Network Local Government Grants program on a 50:50 basis, with the State Government contributing $606,173 to the projects.
Mayor Greg Williamson said the new shared path between Old Eimeo Road and Melanie Street would improve safety for students who attend Eimeo Road State School.
“Providing residents and their children with safe access to facilities around the region is a priority for council,” he said.
“The Northern Beaches is a popular residential area, especially among families, and providing a designated path along Old Eimeo Road will ensure students don’t have to share the road with cars.
“We will also be installing medians at Waverley Street and Busuttin Drive to further improve safety.”
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the two new sections of the Bluewater Trail have already been a hit with locals and tourists alike.
“The two new sections of Bluewater Trail include the Quota Park shared path along Binnington Esplanade and Bridge Road shared path near the Airport.
“Importantly the path at Bridge Road has linked a number of local sporting and recreational facilities, including football, netball, basketball, hockey, rugby league and the Mackay Stadium, by connecting Milton Street and Casey Avenue.
“The Quota Park path has addressed a key missing link along Binnington Esplanade between Bridge Road and Kippen Street.”
Cr Williamson said these above projects represented another link in the overall network masterplan of the Council’s Footpath Strategy.
“The trail aims to improve community wellbeing and recreational opportunities, while providing a safe, direct and connected route around the region’s main hub.”
Bicycle Mackay President Peter McCallum said the upgraded major shared pathways will lead to getting more people out cycling.
“The more people cycling the better,” he said
“Cycling helps everyone, whether it is easing traffic, improving health prospects as well as being an attraction for the active tourist.
“It’s great to see both levels of government working together to deliver infrastructure that will benefit the Mackay cycling community.”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey