REVEALED: $100m budget commitment for Gladstone
The Federal Government will commit $100 million towards the Gladstone Port Access Road stage 2 in this year's Budget.
The announcement follows Labor's election promise to commit $100 million to the project.
The 2019-20 Budget to be unveiled tomorrow night will lock in the government's commitment towards the road extension project in a bid to support the state's export industries.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Gladstone Port Access Road Extension was needed for mining and agricultural exporters who use Gladstone Port.
"This is big news for the big employing industries such as mining and agricultural exporters that are the economic backbone of the great state of Queensland," he said.
"(The upgrade) will tackle congestion and safety issues that hamper access to the port.
"Our investment ... is an important step in ensuring that our freight supply chains are supported by fit-for-purpose road infrastructure."
"Gladstone residents will also benefit from fewer heavy freight vehicles on local roads," he said.
The second stage of the road upgrade has previously been described as a "game changer" by GPC chief executive Peter O'Sullivan.
The long-awaited upgrade would extend Port Access Rd by 2.5km from Glenlyon Rd to Blain Drive.
It is expected to divert heavy traffic away from busy Gladstone streets and provide a more efficient route for trucks carrying export goods to Gladstone Port.
The project's recent history is marred by political debate, with then Prime Minister Tony Abbott promising about $50million to the upgrade in 2014.
However it was believed the funds were pulled for other road upgrades.
Mr O'Dowd has previously said the 2014 plans "were never finalised" and there was "indecision about where (the road) would go".
"You can't keep money for plans that aren't done and a project that hasn't been properly costed," he said in February 2017.
Ahead of the 2016 federal election Opposition Leader Bill Shorten promised, if elected, $80 million towards the upgrade.
The commitment was not matched by the LNP at the time. Mr O'Dowd said the government was waiting for an updated report on the project from the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
He said the project was becoming more expensive than expected.
The Budget is to be released at 7.30pm tomorrow.
Mr O'Dowd will be vying for three more years in Parliament at the election. He has the state's second most marginal seat on a 1.04 per cent margin.
The Federal Government's $100million is about 80 per cent of the expected cost.
Mr McCormack said the Queensland Government is expected to provide the remaining 20 per cent.
It has been estimated the upgrade would create 200 construction jobs.