The Coalition Government will sit down with key stakeholders in Broome next Monday to gauge how to best link communities and essential services through the 10-year, $3.5billion Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said $1.5billion was earmarked for key corridors across northern Australia to improve road reliability, better connect industry to markets and provide improved access for communities.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government is engaging directly with key stakeholders, including industry, to ensure our major investments under ROSI are targeted to maximise benefits to industry and communities across the North,” MrMcCormack said.
“The Northern Australia ROSI will deliver upgrades to key corridors across Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to support major freight movements and better connect businesses to markets and export facilities such as ports and airports.
“Specifically, works likely to be funded include sealing, flood immunity improvements, road strengthening and widening, pavement rehabilitation, bridge and culvert upgrades and road realignments.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said priorities funded through the $1.5billion Northern Australia ROSI would build on the important upgrades already progressing under the Northern Australia Roads Program and the Beef Roads Program.
“The Northern Australia ROSI will provide a direct economic boost by improving links between regional communities to ensure that they have reliable access to essential services including healthcare and education,” SenatorCanavan said.
“The upgrades will also support increased economic activity by improving access to the many fantastic tourist sites the North has to offer.
“These investments will build on those projects already committed to by the Coalition Government, including replacing the Bow River Bridge, and upgrades on the Great Northern Highway between Ord and Turkey Creek and Maggie Creek and Wyndham, in addition to works on the Marble Bar Road (Coongan Gorge) and the Broome-Cape Leveque Road.”
Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport Scott Buchholz will be attending the meeting to hear first-hand from those who matter most.
“The key part of getting the best bang for the taxpayers’ buck through our ROSI investment is of course the industry and stakeholder engagement we are undertaking right now,” MrBuchholz said.
“The identification of corridors would also be informed by an analysis of data from sources including the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) and CSIRO.
“Once we have worked through the data analysis and consultation processes, the Government will determine key corridors to be funded under the ROSI – Northern Australia Package and will work with state, territory and local governments to progress and deliver the package.
“The allocation of funding will be informed by an evidence-based approach that identifies corridors of greatest need in terms of existing deficiencies and freight demand patterns.” Mr Buchholz said.
Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said she was pleased principles had been released to help prioritise investments and ensure funding would be directed at improving road reliability, better connect communities and improve road safety.
“The stakeholder consultations across Northern Australia are particularly important for my Durack electorate constituents to be engaged in, so local knowledge can help inform federal solutions,” Ms said.
Stakeholder sessions will be held from 29 – 31 October 2018 in Broome, Darwin and Townsville.
Funding under the package will be available over 10 years from 2018-19.