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Prime Mover Magazine

Long haul outback upgrades totalling $330 million announced by Government

The Federal Government has confirmed it will spend $330 million on the outback corridor linking Western Australia to Queensland as part of its most recent round of infrastructure allocations.

Dubbed the 'longest short-cut' for the immense distances the linehaul route demands of truckers and road transport companies, the Outback Way will receive, under the latest investments announced this week, $160 million, as the Government invests in making the 2,720 kilometres stretch, linking Laverton in Western Australia with Winton in Queensland via Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, safer for road users.

The development, which is expected to benefit many industries including outback tourism, will, more crucially, bring the Northern Goldfields in Western Australia closer to the east coast of Australia.

A further $76.5 million would be invested in the Western Australian section according to Michael McCormack Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.

“The Outback Way is a crucial east-west link across central Australia and is important for supporting freight transport and tourism, while connecting remote communities to critical services," he said.

“That’s why our investment will help with works such as sealing more sections and make it safer for truckies and tourists alike.”

The Northern Territory section will receive a further $50 million while the Queensland section is to receive an additional $33.5 million bringing the total commitment from the government to $330 million.

“This investment will reduce travel times, cut freight costs and closures for critical regional industries such as mining and tourism, and improve safety along the route,” Mr McCormack said.

“The route varies in condition and standard, with sections of two-lane seal, single lane seal, gravel and unsealed roads. The Liberals and Nationals are committed to improving access, safety and efficiency through our series of major investments.”

The project, according to Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson, is vital for Laverton and the northern Goldfields, providing a direct route to the east coast.

“Sealing this route will provide a significant boost for the mining, agricultural and tourism industries in the Goldfields,” he said.

“No matter where you live, we believe in making local roads safer and investing so product can get from paddock to plate to port faster and people can get home sooner," he said Wilson.

“Sealing works on the Outback Way is a vital part of that investment in building the safer country roads we deserve."

“I think it’s an essential project for Australia and the allocation of funding is an important step in the process to make this project a reality.”

Outback Highway Development Council Chairman Patrick Hill said the investment will improve the standard of the road from Laverton in WA to Winton in Queensland.

“The sealing of the Outback Way improves community access, safety and efficiency and will support economic development across the region and more reliable access to health and education services for remote indigenous communities,” he said.

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