Australia's Queensland Government has started the A$53.3m ($42.3m) upgrade works on the Kennedy Developmental Road (Hann Highway). 

Upgrade works will be carried out between Mount Garnet and Hughenden. 

This project is expected to improve freight and tourist movement in northern Queensland, which will help boost the economy of local communities. The government expects the upgrade works will create approximately 130 jobs.

For this project, the Australian Government will contribute A$42.6m ($33.7m) and the Queensland Government will provide A$10.6m ($8m). 

Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said: “This is one of the key projects being delivered through the Australian Government’s A$600m ($474m) Northern Australia Roads Programme, which will improve safety and efficiency for all users, particularly heavy vehicles.

"This upgrade to the Hann Highway will improve travel times and road safety."

“These works are also going to be important to local communities, with Flinders and Etheridge Shire Councils carrying out some of the works, which have indigenous employment and procurement targets.”

The upgrade works include sealing of 42.15km of Kennedy Developmental Road between the Lynd and Hughenden, as well as 3.4km of widening of road between Mount Garnet and the Lynd.

The widening works between Mount Garnet and the Lynd are expected to be completed by next year, while the sealing works between the Lynd and Hughenden are expected to be completed by late 2019.

Queensland Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey said: “This upgrade to the Hann Highway will improve travel times and road safety, as well as boosting economic productivity in north-west Queensland by creating jobs for locals.”