NT's Economy to be Boosted Through Upgrades to Six Remote Roads

Media Release

WT027/2014

05 March 2014

Joint release with:

Adam Giles

NT Chief Minister
Minister for Economic Development

Six regional and remote roads in outback parts of the Northern Territory are set for major upgrades through a $106 million Regional Roads Productivity Package.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss today announced initial Australian Government funding of $3.55 million for the development and design phase of the upgrades.

Mr Truss said the Roper and Buntine highways, and Port Keats, Arnhem Link, Central Arnhem and Santa Teresa roads had been identified as priorities across the Northern Territory regional road network.

“The planned upgrades will improve the Territory's road network in the fundamental areas of access and safety on remote roads,” Mr Truss said.

“Remote regional roads are critical to continued export growth from the resource and primary industry sectors of the Northern Territory and that is why the Australian Government has committed a total of $90 million to the package.

“Better roads will improve access, safety and reliability of the freight corridors, increase efficiency of freight movements and boost productivity.

“Improving roads that service regional and remote communities in the Territory will boost local economies and bring social benefits to NT communities, as well as contribute to better access roads linking remote Indigenous communities to larger regional service centres.”

The six projects are expected to involve the following works:

  • Roper Highway: Construction of new bridges at the Roper River and Wilton River crossings;
  • Port Keats Road: Flood immunity improvement through the Moyle River Floodplain;
  • Arnhem Link Road: Upgrade of various sections of the track to a good standard gravel road, including flood immunity improvements;
  • Buntine Highway: Widening and strengthening of the pavement, and sealing of some unsealed sections;
  • Central Arnhem Road: Construction of a bridge over Rocky Bottom Creek; and
  • Santa Teresa Road: Upgrade and sealing of various sections between Alice Springs airport and Santa Teresa.

NT Chief Minister Adam Giles said the Territory Government is contributing $16 million to the Regional Roads Productivity Package.

“The six projects are examples of the kind of infrastructure investment that is desperately needed for Northern Development,” Mr Giles said.

“Better roads are the key to opening up the Territory's remote areas, attracting investment and creating jobs.

“The long-overdue Port Keats Road flood upgrade is particularly exciting. This work will go out to tender in April with construction due to begin mid-year.”

Sacred Site Certificates would be obtained from the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority for all planned works during the project development stage for each site, and sites of cultural significance would be protected.

The design work is due to commence on the projects from March 2014.