Remainder of Outback Way to be sealed as part of $678m project

  • McGowan Government partners with Commonwealth to seal remainder of Outback Way
  • Commonwealth contributing $400 million to WA component, with State Government allocating further $100 million
  • Entire 872 kilometres within WA to be sealed over the next seven years
  • Project will deliver new strategic freight route and tourism link with Eastern States
  • The McGowan Government has partnered with the Commonwealth to seal the remainder of Outback Way as part of a $678 million project to deliver a new strategic transport and tourism route with the Eastern States.

    The Federal Government has allocated $400 million to complete the 872 kilometre seal through Western Australia, with the McGowan Government committing a further $100 million towards the project.

    The remainder of the funding will help seal the road in the Northern Territory and Queensland.

    The State Government put a proposal to the Federal Government late last year for the joint funding arrangement which will see the WA section of the highway sealed by 2030.

    Outback Way extends 2,720 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.

    In WA, about $52 million has so far been spent to upgrade the route, with an additional $112 million already allocated for works over 147 kilometres through to 2025-26.

    Today’s funding announcement means there is an additional $500 million to complete the final 589 kilometres over the next seven years.

    The road is critical in providing access to remote Aboriginal communities, with sealing to improve access to health and other services, while opening up rich mineral deposits east of Laverton.

    The project will also see a new road link to the Eastern States, which will provide a new freight and tourism route.

    Work on the project is providing ongoing employment and training opportunities for local Aboriginal people.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “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.

    “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.

    “This project will create thousands of local jobs and provide a new strategic freight route – shoring up our supply chains with the Eastern States and providing a third major road transport link in and out of Western Australia.”

    As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

    “Outback Way is also known as ‘Australia’s longest shortcut’, linking Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia by road.

    “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.

    “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.”

    As stated by Kalgoorlie MLA Ali Kent:

    “We’ve been talking about sealing Outback Way for many years and I am so proud we have received and committed to this funding.

    “The Goldfields are a beautiful place and this road will provide so many more opportunities for people to visit.”

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