Australian govt. prepares to announce $678m plan to upgrade roads

 Monday, February 21, 2022 

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The driving from Queensland to Western Australia will soon be easier as the Morrison government prepares to announce a $678m plan to upgrade more than 1000km of outback roads. This will boost freight movement and travel and tourism.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia will both announce multimillion-dollar commitments on Monday, as cash is splashed in marginal electorates across the Northern Territory and Tasmania in the run up to the May election.

Australia‘s “longest shortcut”, Outback Way, will benefit from road sealing and other upgrades in a plan that would support more than 2000 jobs, cut travel times for freight and tourists while giving residents improved access.

As part of the works, the remaining unsealed and “substandard” sections of Outback Way in Queensland and WA will be sealed. Priority sections on the Plenty Highway and Tjukaruru Road in the Northern Territory will also be upgraded.

Barnaby Joyce will make the announcement in the Northern Territory on Monday, bidding for the seat of Lingiari held by retiring Labor MP Warren Snowdon.

Mr Joyce said Outback Way was a “vital piece of national transport infrastructure” and the government was committed to sealing “the entire 2720 km of Outback Way”. The Nationals and Liberals had the vision to start these upgrades and we are driving ahead with the sealing of the third road that runs east to west across our nation, from Winton to Laverton,” Mr Joyce said. $124m 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.

Mr Joyce’s announcement comes after Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese visited the territory on the weekend, announcing a $200m plan to upgrade roads.

Meanwhile, Scott Morrison will hit the ultra-marginal seats of Bass and Braddon in Tasmania on Monday to announce an $86 million investment to restock the nation’s timber plantations with 150 million trees.

The program will offer grants of up to 50 per cent of the cost of a new plantation, with 40 per cent of the government contribution to come from the commonwealth and 60 per cent from the states. This program is about getting more trees in the ground and securing an Australian supply of timber for future generations,” Mr Morrisons aid. Australia has 1.77 million hectares of plantations and we want to grow further, that’s why we’re making the largest investment in any Australian government in this space for more than 30 years.

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