Shorter Travel Times on Australia's Longest Highway

Media Release

JB025/2014

09 April 2014

Joint release with:

The Hon Dean Nalder, MLA

WA Minister for Transport and Finance

The Australian Government is delivering on its plan to build the infrastructure of the 21st century in Western Australia without imposing a jobs and investment destroying mining tax.

Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs today approved the funding allocation of up to $74.7 million towards the next stage of upgrades to the Great Northern Highway between Waddington (Batty Bog Road) and Walebing.

“The Australian Government is strengthening the economy by investing $3.8 billion in critical infrastructure projects across Western Australia over the next five years,” Mr Briggs said.

“This funding is part of the Australian Government's $307.8 million commitment to upgrade freight networks and improve efficiency over 75 kilometres of the Great Northern Highway (Muchea to Wubin) which would have never happened under Labor as it was contingent on the failed mining tax.

“The mining industry contributes 29 per cent of Western Australia's gross state product and 16 per cent of Australia's overall gross domestic product.

“Efficient transport networks like this are essential to improving the productivity of our economy and driving further investment growth in the Western Australian mining industry.”

Western Australian Minister for Transport Dean Nalder said the Western Australian Government would contribute $77 million toward the overall highway upgrade, improving the road conditions on one of the state's most important highways.

“This highway is Australia's longest, providing an important link between our resource-rich regions in the north and our export ports in the south,” Mr Nalder said.

“The Muchea to Wubin project will shorten travel times through realignment, widening and sealing works along a 75 kilometre section.

“The section will be upgraded consistent to national highway standard, meaning B-triples will eventually be able to transport more goods on a longer stretch of road.

“Additional passing lanes and intersection upgrades will enhance road safety for all road users,” Mr Nalder said.

Construction for this stage of the Muchea to Wubin project is expected to begin in mid 2014.