Works have started on the upgrade of Great Northern Highway from Maggie Creek to Wyndham in Western Australia's Kimberley Region, with the new section of road set to improve regional connectivity.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the Wyndham Spur section of Great Northern Highway was an important route for the local community and the transport industry in the East Kimberley Region, as it provides the only sealed access to Wyndham and the Port while also linking Kununurra and Wyndham.
"The project will see Great Northern Highway upgraded between Maggie Creek and Wyndham, including widening and strengthening works along the Wyndham Spur section and the realignment and construction of a passing lane at Maggie's Jump Up," Mr McCormack said.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the Maggie Creek to Wyndham project formed part of the Australian Government's $600 million investment in Australia's northern road network under the Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP).
"Projects delivered under the NARP will play an essential role in supporting the ongoing economic development of our regions across the North, particularly those with expanding mining and agricultural industries," Senator Canavan said.
"The Maggie Creek to Wyndham project will increase employment and business opportunities for the Kimberley region, with a particular focus on creating opportunities for Indigenous people and businesses."
Western Australian Minister for Transport, Planning and Lands Rita Saffioti said the sections of the Great Northern Highway to be upgraded were currently prone to flooding and struggled to accommodate road trains transporting bulk minerals to the port of Wyndham.
"This important project will improve the safety and reliability of this section highway, and help to meet the future demands of the Kimberley region road network, including shifting goods to domestic and international markets," Ms Saffioti said.
"I am looking forward to seeing the completion of these works, expected in late 2018, with the project being delivered by WBHO Infrastructure Pty Ltd.
"This is one of many new Main Roads contracts that contractually progress Aboriginal employment and business engagement."
Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said the works would improve road safety and access along Great Northern Highway heading into Wyndham and increase the overall reliability of the route.
"By increasing the capacity of the culverts and upgrading existing floodways, the works are expected to promote year-round access to major town sites for local residents and tourists visiting the area," Ms Price said.
The Australian Government has committed $44.9 million towards the project, with the Western Australian Government contributing up to $11.2 million.
For more information on the Northern Australia Roads Program visit http://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure_investment/northern_australia_roads.aspx.
Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500