The Federal Government has announced it is investing around $330 million in sealing key sections of what is known as the Outback Way, the 2,800 kilometre route that links Laverton in Western Australia with Winton in Queensland via Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.
This $330 million is made up of a number of commitments, which together will deliver upgrades to the Outback Way over more than 10 years.
Sealing the 2800km of road from Laverton to Winton has been in development for 20 years.
The Government has said it is committed to completing the sealing project by 2025, citing the infrastructure development as important in promoting tourism in WA and Queensland.
“There is lot of work to do on more detailed costings, so we’re hopeful this will get us along part of the way, but we have got a firm commitment to make sure this road is sealed within that timeframe by 2025, said Deputy PM, Michael McCormack.
“This project is significant for the nation, but it’s particularly vital for outback WA, NT and Queensland, as it will provide a direct route to the east coast,” he said.
“Sealing this route will offer huge economic benefits by improving infrastructure and connectivity for the mining, agricultural and tourism industries.
The Government is working with Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia to identify the highest priority remaining sections for upgrade.
The Government has also committed $28 million to undertake works on key sections of the Plenty Highway and Tjukaruru Road in the Northern Territory.
The investment in the Outback Way is claimed to improve the national transport network by increasing connectivity and reducing travel times, as well as cutting costs for freight operators and enhancing economic opportunities for the cattle, mining and tourism industries.