Australian Government increases commitment to iconic Outback Way

Media Release

KP002/2018

18 April 2018

Joint release with:

The Hon Michael McCormack MP

Acting Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Leader of The Nationals
Federal Member for Riverina

Senator the Hon Matt Canavan

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
Senator for Queensland

The Australian Government will deliver another $160 million to seal and widen priority sections of the iconic Outback Way, taking the Government's total commitment to the route to $330 million and continuing the Government's commitment to nation building and improving regional connectivity.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the additional investment builds upon a longstanding commitment to progressively upgrade the route, which links Laverton in Western Australia with Winton in Queensland via Alice Springs and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory.

“A better Outback Way means better links between Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, improved travel times and operating costs, better flood immunity, improved access to remote communities and mining operations and a safer road,” Mr McCormack said.

“This latest funding builds on the important upgrades already completed or underway thanks to the Liberal and Nationals Coalition Government, including the Government's $100 million 2016 election commitment, and a further $28 million committed under the Northern Australia Roads Program.”

“The Liberal and Nationals Government's strong economic management is enabling us to make crucial investments in infrastructure like this that will grow our economy and create jobs. Today's funding follows the announcement of nation building projects already announced in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales in recent weeks.”

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said upgrading priority sections of the route would tackle reliability and safety issues, especially for heavy freight vehicles, while delivering jobs for local communities.

“This investment is about supporting vital industries such as mining, tourism and agriculture across the North, and the communities these industries help sustain,” Senator Canavan said.

“The Government will continue to work with the three northern jurisdictions to identify sections of highest priority for upgrades. The Australian Government is committed to creating new jobs and new investment across Northern Australia.”

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Keith Pitt said the Government was committed to investing in the North in order to increase freight efficiency, improve road safety, reduce business costs and ensure businesses were able to get their goods to market quickly and reliably.

“Today's Ministerial Forum on Northern Development in Kununurra is an excellent opportunity to discuss future priorities for supporting the North's growth,” Mr Pitt said.

“The Government's ongoing infrastructure investment in projects such as the Outback Way are just one plank of a broader strategy covering priorities such as water policy, supporting Indigenous employment and driving economic innovation.”