Australia’s federal government has announced plans to spend US$490m on improving Outback Way, a series of roads and dirt tracks linking Queensland and Western Australia that is often referred to as the country’s “longest shortcut”.
The aim is to seal and repair substandard sections and to upgrade sections in the Northern Territory.
Barnaby Joyce, minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development, said: “Outback Way is a vital piece of national transport infrastructure that supports regional economies the length of the 2,720km route and connects them to the rest of Australia.
“This additional funding builds on the $239m we’ve invested since 2013 to seal over 600km of Outback Way, giving freight, tourists and locals a smoother, safer drive. Some $90m will be spent on upgrades in the Northern Territory alone, creating 442 jobs for locals and delivering a much-needed economic injection.”