The Federal Government has committed $678m to seal the remaining 1000km of Australia’s Outback Way between Laverton, Western Australia and Winton, Queensland, connecting two major mining hubs.
The 2720km road runs southwest to northeast through Australia’s red centre and is aptly nicknamed “Australia’s longest shortcut.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the development would have wide-ranging benefits for multiple industries.
“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,” Morrison said.
“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.”
Mining operation near the Outback Way include Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine, AngloGold Ashanti’s Sunrise Dam gold mine and Lynas Rare Earths’ Mount Weld mine.
Trigg Mining is another prospective miner in the area which said the government funding would significantly boost development at its Lake Throssell sulphate of potash (SOP) project in Laverton.
“The Australian and WA governments recognise the strategic significance of sulphate of potash as a fertiliser with the potential to improve soils, water quality and carbon farming opportunities in Australia and globally,” Trigg managing director Keren Paterson said.
“Development of this vital piece of national infrastructure will support Trigg’s ambition to develop the Lake Throssell project.”
The Outback Way upgrades will support 2197 jobs – 442 in the Northern Territory, 671 in Queensland and 1084 in Western Australia.