A Federal Coalition government would provide $33 million over three years for the upgrading and partial sealing of the Outback Highway from Winton in Queensland to Laverton in Western Australia.
This will be announced at 10am today by CLP candidate for Lingiari, Tina MacFarlane (pictured), and Nationals leader Warren Truss at Traeger Park.
“Ignored under Labor for six years, we will pick up where we left off when last in government with this visionary project which crossed Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia,” Mr Truss is quoted in a media release.
“If elected, the Coalition will provide $11 million a year for three years, matched by state and territory governments, to upgrade the iconic route joining Cairns to Perth.
“Australia’s ‘longest shortcut’ is 2,800km long and will crosses two states and the Northern Territory, seven shires, seven towns and cities and 13 indigenous communities along its route.”
The alternate route is 1600 kms longer.
Mrs MacFarlane is quoted as saying: “This money will further seal further sections of the road and upgrade unsealed sections with bitumen and provide higher quality unsealed sections.
“This is good news for tourism, mining and mineral exploration, freight movement and the provision of services for our indigenous communities.
“The Outback Way’s centre is Alice Springs, which for many is the geographic centre of the nation. It is the perfect place to announce upgrading this monumental trans-continental route and put real funding to put actual bitumen on the road.”
• Facilitate increased investment in mining and mineral exploration, particularly in the Musgrave Ranges, with over 122 mining tenements in the area. It could open up additional opportunities for nickel, copper, lead, zinc, uranium and other precious metals and will improve efficiency in transporting minerals in the region to market;
• Improve freight efficiency for cattle industry movements, with an upgrade improving marketing and supply options and reduce the cost of production for cattle transporters in the NT and Queensland;
• Improve service delivery for indigenous communities as it winds through the land of 13 different indigenous communities, providing access to essential food and requirements, education and health services, and
• Support new tourism opportunities as a self-drive tourism route suitable for use by conventional and recreational vehicles.
Mrs MacFarlane will also announce a Coalition government would provide up to $445,000 to upgrade sporting facilities in Alice Springs, including a $295,000 upgrade to the tennis clubhouse and up to $150,000 to upgrade communications and technical systems at Treagar Park football stadium, making the new coach’s box fully operational.