PRODUCERS, business owners, workers, residents and tourists will take comfort from plans to upgrade a tricky stretch of road near Emerald, according to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
The nationals leader and the federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd have confirmed a re-elected Coalition government would invest $3 million to seal more than 10 kilometres of the Willies Creek-Royles Road.
Mr O'Dowd said the project would open the region's agricultural productivity, possibly leading to future economic growth and local jobs.
"Willies Creek-Royles Road is surrounded by productive farming and grazing land and serves as the primary route for producers to get their produce to major cities and into important markets," Mr O'Dowd said.
"It links large cattle and agricultural producing areas to important markets via the Fitzroy Development Road and Capricorn Highway, provides direct access to Rockhampton and is the main route for residents to transport their products out of the Central Highland region.
"Sealing this section of the road will provide certainty to local enterprises, allowing them to transport their goods to market much more efficiently and improve road conditions for all drivers.
"It will also provide a major boost to the local economy with 18 full time jobs expected to be created during construction."
Mr McCormack, who is also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, said the upgrade had other benefits.
"By making our transport network more efficient, local businesses have more money to invest in their operations, creating more jobs and providing a vital shot in the arm for the agriculture industry and small businesses, which are so important to the Emerald region.
"We are able to make these important investments in community infrastructure because of our responsible economic management that will deliver a budget surplus and the hard work and advocacy of Ken O'Dowd."