Northern Australia will be a major beneficiary of the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s $1.5 billion nationwide infrastructure package.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the investment would provide an immediate boost to the North’s economy and support hundreds of jobs to help recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Targeting key freight, community access and tourist routes across the North, this package will fund shovel-ready infrastructure projects which will support local jobs immediately,” Mr McCormack said.
“This investment is about keeping construction businesses running and people in jobs, whether it’s on the Kennedy Highway in Queensland, Western Australia’s Great Northern Highway or the Victoria and Carpentaria highways in the Northern Territory.
“This follows our $1.8 billion nationwide boost for Local Government road and community projects announced in May.
“Late last year we also reached agreement with the States and Territories to bring forward $4.2 billion worth of infrastructure investment across Australia to secure jobs and support the national economy.”
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia and Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the investment was part of the Federal Government’s record $100 billion, 10-year infrastructure pipeline, which is laying the foundations of a financial bridge to recovery on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Across North Queensland, upgrades to be funded include improvements along the Kennedy Highway, progressively sealing the Burke Developmental Road, widening the Gregory Developmental Road and more,” Mr Pitt said.
“In the Northern Territory, we will fund safety improvements including Litchfield Park Road, Tiger Brennan Drive and the Victoria Highway, as well as strengthening and widening works on the Carpentaria Highway.
“In WA, we are funding upgrades including to the Great Northern Highway in the Kimberley region, the Great Northern Highway and Point Samson Road in the Pilbara, as well as Yardie Creek Road and Minilya – Exmouth Road under the Exmouth Roads Package.”
Assistant Minister for Northern Australia and Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the spending built on the Federal Government’s $1.7 billion for roads in Northern Australia under the Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative and the $700 million investment under the Northern Australia Roads and Northern Australia Beef Roads programs.
“Today’s package continues our agenda to improve high-priority roads essential to the movement of people and freight to support the North’s economic development,” Ms Landry said.
“We continue to support the thousands of jobs we have created across our national construction sector, which is facing many challenges due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“These types of infrastructure projects will be particularly crucial for helping us bounce back after the COVID-19 crisis has ended by ensuring we have the safe transport connections needed for all of Australia to keep moving.
“We will continue to work with the Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments and in partnership with industry to ensure the safety of all Australians while they deliver our pipeline of critical infrastructure projects.”
More details on the Australian Government’s shovel-ready and targeted safety works funding packages across Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, including full project details, are available at www.infrastructure.gov.au.