A 'second Bruce highway' stretching from Charters Towers to the NSW border has received a further $400 million from the federal government.
The Morrison-Joyce government will offer the funds to upgrade the 1184-kilometre north-south Inland Freight Route from Charters Towers in North Queensland to Mungindi on the New South Wales border.
A better Inland Freight Route will unlock more cotton, grain, cattle, fresh produce, coal, oil, gas and other valuable commodities for exporting, the government said.
The investment through the 2022-23 budget will build on the $400 million committed in last year's budget, taking the total investment to $800 million through to 2030-31.
As a reliable alternative to the Bruce Highway during wet weather events, the Inland Freight Route would ensure regional towns and communities could continue to receive essential goods and services.
The government's investment will help deliver progressive upgrades, including realignments, overtaking lanes, flood resilience and drainage works, pavement widening and safety treatments.
The works will create more than 2000 jobs.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the government was delivering the projects that will make our nation and economy stronger.
"Improving key freight routes will drive the growth of regional industries that produce wealth, like our mining and agriculture sectors," he said.
"To become as strong as possible as quickly as possible, we must sell more of the products that make our country wealthy and strong.
"Slashing travel times for trucks mean the valuable commodities they carry can reach our ports more quickly and we get paid sooner.
"That is how our nation becomes as strong as possible as quickly as possible."
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said improving freight efficiency and productivity would drive growth for Queensland's agriculture producers.
"This is a $400 million investment in the people of regional and rural Queensland to open up a wider corridor for their commercial benefit," Minister Littleproud said.
"It is about growing the economic pie and making sure the men and women on the land get a good sized slice of that pie."
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said upgrading the Inland Freight Route would be a game-changer for regional and rural areas in Queensland.
"This additional investment to upgrade the Inland Freight Route ensures regional and rural areas in Queensland continue to get goods and services into their towns," Ms Landry said.
"Only the coalition government understands that an investment in our freight industry is an investment in Australia's economy."
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the upgrades would also better link Central Queensland to the southern states.
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