A MAJOR freight thoroughfare on the Queensland and New South Wales border which is often cut off during flooding rain is undergoing a $45 million upgrade to bring the bitumen above the high watermark.

Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, announced the big budget infrastructure project this morning at the site where the Gore Highway crosses Wyaga Creek about 30km north of Goondiwindi.

The need to completely rebuild that particular stretch of road was highlighted as recently as December, when the Goondiwindi township was isolated by Wyaga Creek floodwaters for the best part of a week.

The creek runs west before meeting the Barwon River near Mungindi. Its overflow can go over the road at up to six locations during a full flood – a “real chokepoint”, according to Mr Littleproud.

Of a total $45 million cost, just over $36 million will be provided by the Federal Government while the State Government will cover the balance.

“This is a major freight corridor, not just for keeping our supply chains going but also the connection to the Goondiwindi community,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Once there’s just a small downfall this goes under and Goondiwindi is isolated and our supply chains from Melbourne to Brisbane and the rest of Queensland are blocked.

“These supply chains increase the productivity and profitability of our nation, so it’s a real investment which we’re spending taxpayers’ money on.”

As opposed to being an infrastructure spending announcement under the upcoming federal budget, funding for the Gore Highway project comes under the current Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

Works will begin in the coming months and are scheduled for completion in 2024.

Goondiwindi mayor Lawrence Springborg said the Gore Highway was cut off for a total of roughly one month during 2021, causing a crippling effect on the local economy.

“The economic impact of having this road closed as many times as it was last year and the year before is incalculable – it’s millions and millions of dollars,” Mr Springborg said.

“There’s been a lot of lobbying around this. We’re very pleased we’ve got to this stage and we want to thank the federal and state governments for this contribution.”

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