Federal minister for infrastructure and transport Darren Chester today announced the approval of the funding under the government's AU$600m Northern Australia Roads Programme (NARP).
The projects will also deliver on a key recommendation of the Northern Australia White Paper to increase employment opportunities for local Indigenous people. The four projects aim to achieve a minimum target of 5% Indigenous participation through either employment on site or the use of Indigenous suppliers.
Australian government funding has been approved for:
- Flinders Highway
Townsville to Torrens Creek - pavement strengthening and widening - AU$13.6m
Charters Towers to Richmond - replacement of seven ageing culverts - AU$20m
- Kennedy Developmental Road
Mount Garnet-The Lynd - widen 3.4kilometres of pavement to two lanes - AU$2.66m
The Lynd-Hughenden - progressive sealing of sections- AU$40m
“Investing in these four critical road projects will save lives and help unleash the full potential of communities and industries throughout regional Australia, particularly in the north,” said Chester. He added that the NARP targets high-priority roads essential to the movement of people and freight to help support the north's development.
Minister for resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said the AU$600m Northern Australian Roads Programme would improve productivity in the north. “Travelling long distances is a fact of life in Northern Australia. We're investing in the north's productivity through the $600 million Northern Australia Roads Programme because we understand that to make the most of our opportunities, we need a modern and reliable road network,” he said.