Tenders called for next stage of Murchison Highway Upgrade

Tenders have been called for the next stage of upgrades to the Murchison Highway as part of the Australian and Tasmanian Governments’ historic level of investment into this key freight and passenger route connecting the North-West and West Coast of Tasmania.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the upgrade was jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Roads of Strategic Importance initiative.

“The installation of road safety barriers and the improvement of visibility for oncoming traffic in specific areas coupled with the widening and strengthening of the road to more safely cater for heavy vehicles is all about getting people home sooner and safer,” Mr McCormack said.

“We are investing in our post-pandemic future by delivering lasting infrastructure which will kick-start our economic recovery and benefit Australians for years to come.

“The Australian Government’s $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline will support our economy and create jobs, particularly for those in the construction and manufacturing industries.”

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael Ferguson said the Murchison Highway was critical for the movement of freight to Burnie Port for export and to other locations within Tasmania.

“The majority of mining freight is moved via the Murchison Highway,” Mr Ferguson said.

“The highway has been progressively upgraded from Belvoir Road south to Sterling River Bridge to support an expected increase in mining and tourism traffic.”

Federal Member for Braddon Gavin Pearce said the Murchison Highway traverses some of the most challenging terrain in Tasmania and is paramount to the movement of our critical mineral exports from the west coast.

“The Federal Government recognises the importance of ensuring that the corridor remains open and safe at all times. There are synergies between this upgrade and our investment in the $40 million Port of Burnie Shiploader. Together these projects provide confidence and certainty to Tasmania’s resources sector as we plan our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Pearce said.

Tasmanian Member for Braddon Felix Ellis said the work would support local construction jobs and provide a big boost to the North-West economy.

“The West Coast is one of our economic engine rooms and the Murchison Highway connects mines, fish farms and local residents to ports and suppliers on the North-West Coast,” Mr Ellis said. 

Tenders close on 23 September with work scheduled to be undertaken during the 2020–21 construction season.

The project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $35 million and the Tasmanian Government $8.8 million.