Additional $678 million to further seal and upgrade Outback Way


Outback Way, queensland,


The Morrison-Joyce Government will invest an additional $678 million to seal another 1,000 kilometres of road and deliver further upgrades along Australia’s longest shortcut, Outback Way, creating thousands of jobs and better connecting regional industries and communities.

As part of the works, the remaining unsealed and substandard sections of Outback Way in Queensland and Western Australia will be sealed. Additional priority sections on the Plenty Highway and Tjukaruru Road in the Northern Territory will also be upgraded.

The Government is committed to sealing the entire 2,720 kilometres of Outback Way and today’s funding commitment will help get the job done, cutting travel times for freight and tourists while giving residents along the route improved access to the supplies they need to live.

The Outback Way is a 2,720-kilometre route that links Laverton in Western Australia with Winton in Queensland via Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. The condition of the route varies, with sections of unsealed, single-lane seal and dual-lane seal of differing standards and quality.

Since 2013, the Australian Government has committed $330 million to seal and upgrade key sections of the Outback Way. This $330 million investment consists of numerous commitments to deliver upgrades, listed below:

2018 $160 million Commitment

In April 2018, the Australian Government announced a commitment of $160 million to build on existing works to further seal and widen sections of the Outback Way.

The Australian Government allocated the $160 million commitment among the jurisdictions as follows:

  • Queensland—$33.5 million
  • Northern Territory—$50 million
  • Western Australia—$76.5 million

2016 $100 million Commitment

In 2016, the Australian Government committed $100 million to upgrade targeted sections of the Outback Way. Works undertaken include various improvements, such as road widening and sealing for the benefit of increased safety, productivity and flood immunity.

In order to identify projects and help inform the allocation of the $100 million commitment, the Australian Government commissioned an Investment Strategy. This strategy was finalised in 2019.

2013 $42 million Commitment

In 2013, the Australian Government committed an initial $42 million towards the Outback Way, for projects across the three northern jurisdictions.

$28 million under the Northern Australia Roads Program

In 2016, the Australian Government announced $28 million to upgrade Plenty Highway and Tjukaruru Road in the Northern Territory.


2016 $100 million Commitment


Northern Territory

Western Australia

$28 million under the Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP)

Northern Territory

2013 $42 million Commitment

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the upgrades would support 2,197 jobs and deliver an important economic boost across Australia’s centre.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Government was delivering on its commitment to seal the entire length of Outback Way.

“$124 million will be spent on upgrades in the Northern Territory alone, creating 442 jobs for locals and delivering a much-needed economic injection in the Territory.

“These upgrades will spark new opportunities for industries along the route, including the critical earth precincts north of Alice Springs, the gold precincts around Laverton and the massive beef industry, while ensuring communities and people on the corridor have better access to supplies.”

The Australian Government’s funding commitment represents 80 per cent of the total funding package, with state and territory governments providing the remaining 20 per cent.

Source: © Commonwealth of Australia

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