The Australian Government is getting on with the job of supporting major Northern Territory road investments, with funding approved for six upgrades between the Northern Australia Roads Program and Beef Roads Program over recent months.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the six approved projects would see upgrades to the Arnhem Highway’s Adelaide River Floodplain, the Barkly Stock Route, Plenty Highway, Tablelands Highway, Tjukaruru Road and the Buntine Highway.
“Federal approval is an important step in progressing these projects, which will collectively support the ongoing economic development of our regions across Northern Australia, particularly those with expanding mining and agricultural industries,” said Mr. McCormack.
“It is pleasing that construction has already kicked off on the $40 million Buntine Highway and $25 million Plenty Highway sealing projects, which will support remote communities, agriculture, mining and tourism. Similar upgrades to the the Tablelands Highway and Tjukaruru Road are progressing through the tendering process, with major construction due to start in the near future,” he said.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP) and $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Program (Beef Roads Program) were part of the Australian Government’s commitment to develop the North.
“We can also announce approval of federal funding for the development phase of the $77.9 million Arnhem Highway—Adelaide River Floodplain Upgrade, to which we have committed $62.3 million aimed at making that key road link more reliable between the Stuart Highway and Mount Bundy,” said Mr. Canavan.
“Through both NARP and the Beef Roads Program, the Australian Government is investing in improving high-priority roads across Northern Australia essential to the movement of people and freight and the North’s economic development, as well as bolstering the reliability, productivity and resilience of cattle supply chains,” he said.
Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Eva Lawler said the upgrades were focused on sealing, flood immunity and strengthening works.
“These upgrades are aimed squarely at reducing road closures, especially during the wet season, while supporting safer and more productive heavy vehicle access,” said Ms. Lawler.
“This in turn helps drive down costs and lower barriers to key regional industries such as pastoralists, agriculture, live export and mining, helping these businesses to grow and thrive and, in doing so, employing more regional Territorians, including Indigenous workers,” he said.
Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said the recent Federal Budget delivered a $24.5 billion pipeline of new infrastructure investment nationwide, with the Northern Territory set to benefit.
“This pipeline includes new investment of $180 million toward upgrading Central Arnhem Road and up to $100 million to improve the Buntine Highway,” said Mr. Scullion.
“The Northern Territory will also benefit from the $1.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance—Northern Australia Package and a further commitment of $160 million toward the iconic Outback Way across Queensland, the Territory and Western Australia,” said Mr. Scullion.
“These projects will benefit the Territory in terms of productivity, the economy and road safety, while leveraging off significant investments already underway such as the Barneson Boulevard and Tiger Brennan Drive project in Darwin, which is now under construction,” he said.
The Australian Government has committed over $222 million under the Northern Australian roads programs to projects in the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory is providing a 20 per cent funding contribution towards each of these projects.