$678m funding injection to get more works underway on Outback Way

Monica Gameng   |   February 22, 2022
Outback Way Queensland (cr: Queensland Government)

An additional $678 million is going to be invested by the Federal Government to seal a further 1,000 kilometres as well as provide upgrades on Australia’s longest shortcut – the Outback Way. 

The new funding commitment will seal the remaining sections of the Outback Way in Queensland and Western Australia that are still unsealed and are substandard. Upgrades to additional priority sections on the Plenty Highway and Tjukaruru Road in the Northern Territory will also be covered under this funding. 

“Our additional investment of $678 million in Outback Way is part of our plan for a strong economy across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. 

“Investing in infrastructure right across Australia will keep our economy strong and growing while ensuring Australians, regardless of where they live, have jobs. 

“Our investment locks in a pipeline of works that will drive investment in regional Australia and boost economies from Winton in Queensland to Laverton in Western Australia, helping regional and remote communities and those who call them home to grow and prosper,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. 

The announcement of more than half-a-billion dollars in funding shows the Australian Government’s commitment to sealing the entire 2,720 kilometres of Outback Way, which will slash travel times for freight and tourists while providing residents along the route with improved access to supplies they need to live. 

In addition to providing improved journeys along Outback Way, the upgrades are anticipated to support up to 2,197 jobs. 

“The Nationals and Liberals had the vision to start these upgrades and we are delivering ahead with the sealing of the third road that runs east to west across our nation, from Winton to Laverton. 

“Outback Way is a vital piece of national transport infrastructure that supports regional economies the length of the 2,720 kilometre route and connects them to the rest of Australia. 

“These upgrades will spark new opportunities for industries along the route, including the critical earth precincts north of Alice Springs, the gold precincts around Laverton and the massive beef industry, while ensuring communities and people on the corridor have better access to supplies,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said. 

The recently announced funding builds on the $330 million that was invested since 2013 to seal more than 600 kilometres of Outback Way. 

About $124 million from the new budget is going to be spent on upgrades in the Northern Territory alone and it is anticipated to create 442 local jobs. 

On the other hand, $154 million will be spent to upgrade the Queensland section of Outback way, which will create up to 671 jobs across the State. 

“Sealing and upgrading Outback Way will reduce the long and unreliable travel times that freight and motorists experience along sections of the route. 

“The upgrades will also drive economic growth in remote communities, bring more tourists, improve connections between people, jobs and services, and goods with markets,” Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said. 

Western Queensland mining and agriculture businesses will also benefit from this significant investment from the Federal Government with $41.5 million to go towards the progressive sealing of the remaining unsealed sections of Donohue Highway. 

“Solely-funded by the Australian Government, the Donohue Highway sealing works will support around 124 jobs during construction, providing a major boost to the local economy,” Senator for Queensland and Special Envoy for Northern Australia Susan McDonald said. 

In Western Australia, $400 million from the recent investment will be used to seal the full length of Outback way in the State, creating about 1,084 local jobs. 

“A sealed route will also deliver social benefits for communities by improving access to goods and services and increased employment opportunities, particularly for Indigenous communities,” Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said. 

The $678 million funding will ensure that upgrades are continuously rolled out on Outback Way following the completion of previously funded works. 

This funding from the Australian Government represents 80 per cent of the total funding for the upgrades, with the remaining 20 per cent to be provided by the state and territory governments. 

Source: Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development; Prime Minister of Australia – Media; Perth Now; News.com.au; SBS News 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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