More Efficient Freight Networks for Western Australia

Media Release

WT038/2014

14 March 2014

Joint release with:

Colin Barnett

WA Premier
WA Transport Minister

Rick Wilson

Member for O'Connor

Graham Jacobs

Member for Eyre

Mining and other freight transport will benefit from the Australian Government's commitment to upgrade the Great Eastern Highway between Walgoolan and Coolgardie.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss today reaffirmed the Australian Government's commitment to the upgrade, emphasising the importance of the Great Eastern Highway freight link to the broader national economy.

“The Australian Government is committed to building nationally significant infrastructure, and the Great Eastern Highway is the main freight link between Western Australia and the eastern states,” Mr Truss said.

Federal Member for O'Connor Rick Wilson said the Australian Government had committed up to $42.2 million towards an expected project cost of $67.1 million to upgrade and widen 36 kilometres of the Great Eastern Highway between Walgoolan and Coolgardie, and to construct three overtaking lanes, each approximately 1.5 kilometres in length.

“This highway is used by mining and other freight traffic, and the upgrade will increase regional economic productivity,” Mr Wilson said.

The Western Australian State Government has allocated $24.9 million to the road upgrade.

Western Australian Premier and Transport Minister Colin Barnett said the mining industry was key to Western Australia's and the nation's economy and Great Eastern Highway was heavily used by mining transport and the general freight industry.

“The WA Government is pleased to be working with the Australian Government to build the infrastructure networks we need for the nation's future,” Mr Barnett said.

Western Australian Member for Eyre Graham Jacobs said the upgrade would also deliver road safety benefits to other motorists using the highway, including tourists travelling across the Nullarbor.

“Working together with the Australian Government, we can achieve real infrastructure outcomes that support efficiency and economic wellbeing, as well as road safety,” Dr Jacobs said.

The Australian Government has committed $3.8 billion to infrastructure in Western Australia through the Infrastructure Investment Programme.