Upgrades on the way for Outback Way in NT

Media Release


01 November 2017

Joint release with:

Nigel Scullion

Senator for the Northern Territory

Nicole Manison

Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics

  • Australian Government commits funding for three sealing and widening projects
  • Reduced travel times, costs cut for freight operators, improve road reliability and enhanced economic opportunities for rural and regional communities
  • Upgrades are part of the $100 million commitment to the iconic Outback Way

The Australian Government has committed funding to three projects worth more than $41 million to seal priority sections of the Outback Way in the Northern Territory.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said around 60 kilometres of upgrades would be delivered in the Northern Territory, including:

  • Two projects worth $32.2 million to deliver a two-lane seal, drainage improvements and floodway upgrades along 36 kilometres of the Plenty Highway; and
  • One project worth $19.9 million to deliver a two-lane seal along 24 kilometres of Tjukaruru Road

“These works have been identified following an independent review of the Outback Way to identify high-priority sections requiring upgrades in the short term, with the results of the review used to inform the allocation of the $100 million commitment. These upgrades are going to deliver real benefits for the industries and communities which use this key east-west route to access economic opportunities and essential services,” Mr Chester said.

NT Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Nicole Manison welcomed the Australian Government's commitment.

“These are key routes for Territory communities, with the Outback Way providing a strategic east-west link across central Australia. It is a critical connection for the resources industry, agriculture, tourism and local communities and these works will underpin economic growth for years to come,” Ms Manison said.

Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said the upgrades would improve road reliability, reduce travel times, cut costs for freight operators and enhance economic opportunities for communities and industry throughout the Northern Territory.

“Sealing these sections of road and upgrading floodways will make a huge difference to people travelling the Outback Way. Providing a two-lane seal makes the highway safer for all vehicles, giving drivers more room on the road, and building better floodways and carrying out drainage improvements will make the road far more reliable throughout the year,” Senator Scullion said.

The Australian Government has committed up to $100 million to deliver 13 priority projects across the Outback Way, with the Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australian governments, and relevant local councils, contributing the remaining 20 per cent required for each project, totalling $25 million.