A $40 million upgrade to the Buntine Highway, funded through the $600m Northern Australian Roads Program, will deliver strong benefits to the region’s cattle industry, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.
The upgrade will improve the quality, safety and efficiency of the highway through pavement strengthening and widening.
“The Buntine Highway is a major transport link and these upgrades will significantly benefit the region’s cattle industry, with around 15 pastoral stations relying heavily on the Buntine Highway to get their cattle to Darwin,” Mr McCormack said.
“These targeted upgrades will decrease maintenance costs, as well as reduce flood-related closures, travel times and load restrictions during the wet season, making these welcome improvements for the cattle industry which is so central to the North’s prosperity.”
Construction for the upgrade commenced in June. The contract for the delivery of the second package of works on the Buntine Highway has been awarded to Aldebaran Contracting, Mr McCormack announced today.
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said the priority sections identified for upgrading were identified in close consultation with key stakeholders including the Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association and the Northern Territory Road Transport Association.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the Australian Government had invested $32 million towards the $40 million Buntine Highway Road Upgrading project through the NARP. “
This is a key road for the beef industry, with upwards of 250,000 cattle transported along the route every year. It is a pipeline of productivity in terms of jobs and prosperity for the region and the entire nation,” Minister Canavan said.
“Our investment in this project shows how the NARP is supporting economic development and job creation in the North and builds on other investments, such as the previous $10 million upgrade to the Buntine Highway under the Northern Territory Regional Roads Productivity Package completed in mid2017.”
Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Eva Lawler said the Buntine Highway investment would provide major benefits industry and support jobs for Territorians.
“The current poor condition of the Buntine Highway and the limited year-round heavy vehicle access significantly impacts on the Territory’s key industries and the delivery of important services,” Ms Lawler said.
“This upgrade will play a critical role in meeting the growing demand for beef exports, will support growth in cattle production across the Victoria River and Kimberley districts and support more than 30 jobs for Territorians during construction.”
The Australian Government has committed $32 million towards the $40 million upgrade in partnership with the Northern Territory Government who has contributed $8 million.
Source: Federal and NT Governments