The plan to seal the iconic Tanami Road in Central Australia has received another boost, with the Commonwealth government announcing it has allocated an additional $200m to the ambitious project.
The supplementary funding facilitates the sealing of additional sections of this crucial western corridor. It will enable the upgrading and sealing of a further 150 kilometres of the 1035km road linking Alice Springs to the Great Northern Highway near Halls Creek. Work on this section is expected to be completed by late 2025.
The major share of infrastructure funding in the Territory comes from the Australian Government, with the Territory relying heavily on this funding to deliver infrastructure upgrades.
“The Territory Labor Government will continue advocating for its fair share of funding and we are committed to delivering an infrastructure network that improves efficiency, connectivity and safety for all Territorians,” said Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Joel Bowden. “Infrastructure projects in the Territory create local jobs both in our urban hubs, as well as for regional and remote Territorians.”
Earlier this month, Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine King confirmed the sealing of the Tanami Road would go ahead, despite growing fears for a number of major projects due to a $33 billion cost blowout to road and rail projects nationwide.
At the start of this year, communities in the East Kimberley were cut off from southern WA by record-breaking floods that damaged the Fitzroy Crossing bridge.
Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley deputy Shire president Tony Chafer told the WA News that the incident showed how urgently the sealing was needed.
“If the Tanami Road had been done several years ago, we wouldn’t have been nearly as isolated,” he said. “Going down the Tanami, we’re closer by road to Adelaide than Perth from Kununurra … it would have been an excellent second option for us.”
Back in June, a Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee revealed that the work to fully seal the Tanami may not actually be completed for 10 years.
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