White Paper calls for more road funding for the north

White Paper on northern Australia includes $600 million for road projects

White Paper calls for more road funding for the north
The Federal Government will invest a further $600 million on northern roads over the next five years


A range of road upgrades and other transport proposals make up a key part of the federal government’s Our North, Our Future: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.

"The Commonwealth Government will focus on funding high priority public infrastructure (such as roads), while making it easier for the private sector to invest in the infrastructure where it can get a return," the report, released today, says.

The White Paper commits $600 million of federal money over the next five years to a package of road upgrades, particularly along key freight routes.

"It will see improvements to the Arnhem Highway, the Barkly Highway, the Great Northern Highway, the Hann Highway and the Outback Way," the report says.

"These roads were identified in Infrastructure Australia’s northern Australia audit as warranting further investigation, with many seen as priorities by [local] jurisdictions."

The roads package is in addition to the $100 million fund for improving key livestock transport routes in the north.

More specific funding allocations and project plans will be announced in 2016.

The government is also committing itself to improving rail capacity in the north.

It has set aside $5 million for analysis into long term requirements and project feasibilities, including for a new railway between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa.

"With a land mass covering over three million square kilometres, and a population of over one million people, the north has untapped potential," Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.

"The White Paper is a roadmap for achieving our vision for the north by 2035 and we are starting work right away – alongside the people who live and do business in the north."


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