The Australian Government has announced the completion of the Capricorn Highway overtaking lanes project in Queensland.

The project has seen the addition of six new overtaking lanes on Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Emerald.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said: “The Capricorn Highway forms part of Australia’s Key Freight Road Network and Queensland’s Priority Freight Network, connecting the Bruce Highway in the east and the Landsborough Highway in the west.

“Investing in the Capricorn Highway is part of our record A$110bn infrastructure investment – an investment that Central Queenslanders are directly benefiting from.

“The addition of the six overtaking lanes will significantly increase freight efficiency and improve safety for everyone using the road.”

The A$19m ($14.4m) Capricorn Highway overtaking lanes project has been jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing A$15.2m ($11.5m) while the Queensland Government A$3.8m ($2.8m).

Completion of the project is expected to benefit the drivers and industries in the region as the project is said to have proved safety on the highway.

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said: “Combined, the Central Highlands and Rockhampton regions inject more than $15bn into our economy each year and it’s vital we continue to invest in the jobs and infrastructure needed as part of our economic recovery plan.

“Drivers are now making the most of three eastbound and three westbound overtaking lanes, as well as wide centreline treatments.

“It’s part of the Queensland Government’s record $1.7bn roads and transport budget for Central Queensland, which is helping to support 1,700 jobs in the region.”

Bailey explained that the project created 61 new construction employment opportunities and supported the state’s economic plan for recovery from Covid-19.