Funding approved for Outback Way in Queensland

Media Release

WT088/2015

25 March 2015

$11 million in Australian Government funding has been approved for upgrade works on almost 50 kilometres of Queensland's section of the legendary Outback Way.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss confirmed the funding today at a Parliamentary Friends of the Outback Way event in Canberra, where members were briefed on the project by Outback Highway Development Council chair Patrick Hill.

Mr Truss said the project will deliver upgrades to almost 35 kilometres of sections of the Kennedy Developmental Road and around 14 kilometres of the Donohue Highway, providing an important boost to network efficiency and road safety.

“This funding, which will be delivered as part of a broader funding agreement with the Queensland Government and local councils, will deliver economic benefits to remote Queensland communities through improved transport, employment and tourism opportunities,” Mr Truss said.

“The Outback Way is a crucial transnational transport link across the heart of Australia, linking Laverton in Western Australia to Winton in Queensland, passing through the Northern Territory.

“At present, the Outback Way is forced to close for an average of three days every time there is significant rain event.

“Delivered in partnership with state and local governments, this project will greatly improve the economic competitiveness of local industries and communities by reducing road closures.

“This programme is funded as part of the Australian Government's Infrastructure Investment Programme, which is investing $13.4 billion into Queensland transport infrastructure.

“Works are underway on projects funded by the local government contribution. Initial planning has been completed and the detailed design phase is underway for the larger component of works, with construction work expected to begin soon.”

This investment will benefit the State's ongoing economic and social development and improve transport productivity and efficiency.