Great Northern Highway upgrade to keep region connected

Media Release

DC387/2017

30 November 2017

Joint release with:

Matthew Canavan

Minister for Northern Australia

Melissa Price

Federal Member for Durack

Rita Saffioti

WA Minister for Transport; Planning; Lands

The Australian Government will invest $44.91 million in the Great Northern Highway Upgrade (Maggie Creek—Wyndham) project to improve freight links for regional industry and improve road safety between the Victoria Highway and the Port of Wyndham.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the project would be funded under the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program which is helping upgrade high-priority roads across northern Australia.

“These works are an investment in safety and jobs, by making the highway safer for all drivers, including heavy vehicle operators and tourists, and improving freight efficiency for the region’s industries,” Mr Chester said.

Western Australian Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said the works would see nearly 28 kilometres of upgrades along the Great Northern Highway between the Victoria Highway and the Port of Wyndham, known as ‘Wyndham Spur’.

“The project will involve reconstructing approximately 5.7 kilometres of the Great Northern Highway at Maggie’s Jump Up, including construction of a northbound overtaking lane and widening and overlaying an additional 22 kilometres,” Ms Saffioti said.

Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said projects such as this were another way the Coalition Government was delivering on its commitment to invest in the North to create new jobs and new opportunities.

“This upgrade will mean a safer and more reliable access to the Port of Wyndham for industries operating in the Kimberley region,” Senator Canavan said.

“It will also give road trains, heavy vehicles and tourists safer overtaking options, as well as minimise the impact of flooding to maintain year-round access to major towns. We’re investing in road projects right across Northern Australia to better connect communities to services and connect producers to their markets.” 

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said the project would also involve upgrades to 44 culverts, the construction of floodways and off-road drainage, and upgrades to existing intersections.

“This section of the highway is heavily used by mining operations in the area, including iron ore and nickel mining in the south, and is a key inter-town link between Wyndham, Kununurra and Halls Creek. I want to see this project get started quickly, and we’re expecting construction to start early next year, with completion anticipated by late 2018, weather permitting,” Ms Price said.

The Australian Government has committed up to $44.91 million and the Western Australia Government $11.23 million to fund the Great Northern Highway Upgrade: Maggie Creek—Wyndham project.