NT highways to gain in $53m in safety spend


Truckstops involved but only sealed routes named

NT highways to gain in $53m in safety spend
Major highways will get bulk of funding, including for sealing shoulders

 

The Northern Territory infrastructure is to receive $53 million in a joint federal and territory investment just days after the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and the Northern Territory Road Transport Association (NTRTA) called for increased remedial action for norther Australian routes.

The two governments state the money aims to deliver ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects and urgent road safety upgrades.

But although the industry will welcome gratefully attention to truckstops, routes nominated so far include only the busiest highways, rather than corrugated remote and regional dirt roads that carry freight, as the NTRTA sought.


Read the industry’s plea on dirt freight routes in the far north, here


According to federal infrastructure, transport and regional development minister Michael McCormack, the funding injection would support local jobs, businesses and the economy while providing lasting infrastructure to help the Territory bounce back as pandemic restrictions ease.

"We have worked closely with state, territory and local governments to identify shovel-ready projects right across the country to strengthen the economy and get money flowing into jobs and businesses as soon as possible," McCormack says.

"In the Northern Territory, this will see us invest in life-saving upgrades along major routes such as the Stuart, Barkly, Carpentaria and Victoria highways, as well as improving safety around remote intersections and roadhouses.

Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner says the package includes $34.6 million for road safety improvements across the territory.

"This funding will deliver critical safety works along three of the Territory’s busiest highways – the Stuart, Barkly and Victoria Highways – including sealing shoulders and improving or installing guardrails, truck stops and audio-tactile line markings to reduce crashes," Gunner says.

"We will also be widening and sealing shoulders at critical points along Litchfield Park Road.

"This is a particularly popular tourist route, so completing these works now will ensure the road is safer for when tourism bounces back in the Territory."

The jointly funded package is supported by investments from the Commonwealth, with $40.4 million, and Northern Territory, with $12.7 million.

Commonwealth funding for the package has been drawn from the recently announced $1.5 billion allocation to priority shovel-ready projects and targeted road safety works.

 

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