The federal government has joined the Western Australian government in funding the remainder of the Outback Way project, which will cost $678 million and provide a new freight route.
It will enable Western Australia to connect its supply chains with those of the Eastern States. This will create thousands of local jobs and provide a third major road that will make visiting the state easier for interstate travellers.
The federal government will contribute $400 million to the initiative while the WA government will allocate an additional $100 million.
“We are very pleased to partner with the Commonwealth to completely seal Outback Way and I thank the federal government for their major contribution to this important project,” WA Premier Mark McGowan says.
“My government is pleased to allocate $100 million towards the upgrades, with significant benefits for our freight links, the tourism industry and the safety of everyone who travels on this stretch of road,” he adds.
The WA government proposed to the federal government late last year that it help fund the initiative.
An entire 872 kilometres within WA will be sealed over the next seven years. The remainder of the funding will help seal the road in the Northern Territory and Queensland. Outback Way extends 2720 kilometres from Laverton in WA to Winton in Queensland.
The WA section of the route is formed by the Great Central Road and extends 872 kilometres from Laverton to the WA/NT border, with 736 kilometres currently unsealed.
“Outback Way is also known as ‘Australia’s longest shortcut’, linking Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia by road,” WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti says.
“When complete, this project will see 872 kilometres of road throughout WA fully sealed, providing better access to remote communities, better links from east to west and exciting new tourism prospects,” she adds.
“With the recent flooding of the Trans-WA rail line, we know how important it is to have alternate routes for freight to come into WA. The SA floods demonstrated the need for more resilient transport options into the future and Outback Way is clearly one of them.”
The road will provide access to remote Aboriginal communities and give them easier access to health and other services. They will also be offered ongoing employment and training opportunities related to the project.
For more information on the Outback Way project, click here.
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