Queensland Government Commits $42.5 Million to keep Bremer River Bridge on life support

Last week the Queensland Government announced the commitment of $42.5 million towards rehabilitation works for the Bremer River Bridge. Matched funding will be sought from the Australian Government, totalling an investment of $85 million. This funding announcement is certainly a step in the right direction to keep the Bremer River Bridge open, but many industry bodies have labelled the announcement as a bandaid for a bullet wound.

According to Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Bart Mellish, this funding is only aimed to help prolong the life of the structure.

The issue remains that we are not seeing commitment on the long-term requirements of the Bremer River Bridge, which is ultimately a replacement. Considering the volume of vehicles needing to cross the bridge will only increase in the coming years given population growth, building renewable energy infrastructure to meet the Stats ambition net zero targets, and the Olympics all in our state’s future, there will be serious strain on the 65-year-old structure.   Today, the Warrego Highway is the second-highest trafficked rural national highway outside of South-East Queensland, moving almost 6,000 heavy vehicles per day, and represents the most critical freight route for heavy vehicles carrying agricultural, construction, defence, and resources cargo connecting the Port of Brisbane to Toowoomba, Surat Basin, South-West, and Central-West regions of Queensland, and beyond to connecting routes linking Darwin and Melbourne. 

The economic impacts of the restrictions currently in place on the Bremer River Bridge are and will continue to adversely impact industry, businesses, and the community for a long time to come. Especially as no more information has been released on the timeframe of fix works, or what delays and closures will be into the future.

Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) CEO April Cavanagh says, “we can’t afford for there not to be a long-term plan for this vital piece of infrastructure.

We look forward to continuing our advocacy and continuing to converse with Minister Mellish and other key stakeholders to bring all perspectives together to make sure we don’t see the Bremer River Bridge bring our region to a standstill.”