Cash for remote roads … but will it be enough?

Published: May 11, 2015

The Federal Government has just promised $100 million to upgrade northern cattle roads but grey nomads needn’t worry that the cash will take the adventure out of driving on these remote roads.

The NT Government has said it would need more than $1 billion to upgrade its cattle roads, and the  WA Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) said the money wouldn’t make much difference when split across the three northern states.

“It depends how much of it actually finishes up in WA, but to be perfectly honest with you $100 million is a drop in the bucket,” PGA president, Tony Seabrook, told the ABC. “It will disappear on maintenance and hardly any construction … you just can’t get road construction for that amount of money.”

Transport companies and pastoralists hope the Tanami Road and the Great Central Road will receive a lot more funding

Mark Castagna, from Tanami Transport, a transport company based in Alice Springs which works on both roads, said it was a positive move by the Federal Government.

“It’s a start isn’t it? Every little bit helps, but at the minute we need a fair bit more I reckon,” Mr Castagna told the ABC. “The Territory side is shocking at the minute … they’re all bad at the moment because with the cattle prices being so good everyone’s shifting them.”

* Have you driven on these remote tracks? Would you like to see major improvements made to them? Comment below.



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7 years ago

We crossed the Great Central Rd in from WA to NT in 2009 with two other motorhomes. All just ordinary vehicles.
The WA section was pretty much what we expected, fairly rough in places but over the 800Km not too bad. The 300Km of NT from Docker River to the Olgas / Kata Tjuta was absolutely terrible, taking 4 hrs to do the last 80Km. Most of the time driving on the shoulder on about a 25 degree angle, only going onto the road to pass spoon drains.
However the trip was worthwhile and we all enjoyed it, the landscape is exceptional. The 1100 Km could be crossed in a couple of days but we were in no hurry and wandered along stopping frequently to view the countryside. We didn’t visit any communities other than the fuel stops which are frequently available but their opening times are somewhat of a mystery. They do not like people taking photos of them.


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