THE Commonwealth is to invest $44.91 million in a project to improve freight links for regional industry and boost road safety between the Victoria Highway and the Port of Wyndham in north east Western Australia.
Federal transport minister Darren Chester said the project, known as the Great Northern Highway Upgrade, would be bankrolled under the $600m Northern Australia Roads Program.
“These works are an investment in safety and jobs, by making the highway safer for all drivers, including heavy vehicle operators and tourists, and improving freight efficiency for the region’s industries,” Mr Chester said.
Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the upgrade meant safer and more reliable access to the Port of Wyndham for industries operating in the Kimberley.
“It will also give road trains, heavy vehicles and tourists safer overtaking options, as well as minimise the impact of flooding to maintain year-round access to major towns,” he said.
Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said the project would also involve upgrades to 44 culverts, the construction of floodways and off-road drainage, and upgrades to existing intersections.
“This section of the highway is heavily used by mining operations in the area, including iron ore and nickel mining in the south, and is a key inter-town link between Wyndham, Kununurra and Halls Creek.
Construction on the Great Northern Highway upgrade is expected to commence in early 2018.