The Queensland Government in Australia has initiated the first phase of the Isis Highway safety upgrade as part of its economic recovery plan and job creation efforts in the Wide Bay region.

The upgrade work will be carried out with an investment of A$42.5m ($32.9m).

Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said: “Building on our strong track record, the Palaszczuk Labor Government is delivering its fifth record roads and transport budget. Once again, the vast majority of that investment, A$17.8bn, focuses on our regions, supporting 16,180 regional jobs.

“We’re building the jointly funded A$20m Bruce Highway upgrade at Childers. We’ve locked in A$42.5m to drive safety on the Isis Highway, and it’s great to see work and jobs already underway because of our investment.”

Smith explained that the road crews will perform work on 13km of wide centre lines enhanced by audio-tactile linemarking, along with 17km of resealing as part of a A$50bn infrastructure guarantee for Queensland’s economic recovery plan.

The wide centre line treatment is expected to increase driver safety by providing greater separation between people travelling in opposite directions while the audio-tactile linemarking and retro-reflective markers will alert stray motorists to stay within traffic lanes.

He added that enhancing safety on the Isis Highway is key to the region’s A$4.28bn economy and major industries such as agriculture and tourism.

Smith further added: “Better roads get families home safer, our products to markets across Australia and the globe, and stimulate jobs, which is why this government has injected A$4.8bn in joint stimulus funding over the last year and a bit to upgrade roads right across the region and the state.”