Funding to support vital Western Australian roads under the Northern Australia Roads Programme

Media Release


20 September 2016

Joint release with:

Barnaby Joyce

Acting Prime Minister Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources

  • More than $24 million to widen an 18.6km section of the Great Northern Highway—Wyndham Spur Stage 2
  • More than $20 million to improve the road alignment and build new passing lanes on the Maggie's Jump Up section of the Great Northern Highway
  • More than $43.5 million to realign and rebuild a section of Marble Bar Road that passes through Coongan Gorge

More than $360 million is being rolled out for new road upgrade projects in northern Australia, with almost $90 million being invested in the first three Northern Australia Roads Programme projects in Western Australia.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce said the Northern Australian Roads Programme was created to fund high-priority projects that are essential to support the north's economic development.

“We have a plan to unlock the potential of the north through targeted investments in key projects for the region, including road infrastructure,” Mr Joyce said.

“In a state as vast as WA, it's essential for the economic development of regional communities to have a safe and efficient freight network.

“We will continue to work with the State Government and local communities to identify priorities for further investment to benefit both the region and the national economy.”

Other allocations under this round include more than $140 million for roads in Queensland and $130 million for roads in the Northern Territory.

The projects are jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian governments on an 80:20 funding arrangement.

Comments by: Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester

“The funding will improve the safety and reliability of critical routes and support economic growth in the nation's north,” Mr Chester said.

“Access to Wyndham Port is a key part of this initial funding, with two projects approved on the Great Northern Highway.

“This will include almost $25 million to upgrade Wyndham Spur and almost $21 million for passing lanes at ‘Maggie's Jump Up', a steep section of road with serious safety concerns and costly impacts on freight operations.

“More than $43 million will also help realign and reconstruct a steep and narrow winding section of Marble Bar Road which passes through Coongan Gorge.”

Comments by: Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matthew Canavan

“Australia's north has vast potential for economic growth to benefit both local communities and the national economy,” Senator Canavan said.

“As we put in place our comprehensive plan for the region through initiatives in the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, we'll continue to identify new projects that will further enhance the liveability and productivity of northern Australia.”