Joint Media Release with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development The Hon Michael McCormack MP; Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator the Hon Matthew Canavan; NT Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics The Hon Eva Lawler and Member for Barkly The Hon Gerry McCarthy
The Northern Territory’s Barkly Stock Route is set to become more reliable for the cattle industry and pastoralists with the contract awarded to Alice Springs-based Exact Contracting Pty Ltd to deliver 15 kilometres of sealing works on the route.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said works would begin in March 2019 with the sealing of the route from 8.6 kilometres to 23.6 kilometres east of the Stuart Highway.
“Around Australia the Federal Government is investing to make our roads safer,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Barkly Stock Route services some of the largest cattle stations in Australia and these upgrades will support producers by providing a more reliable link between the Stuart Highway and the Tablelands Highway through the centre of the Barkly Tableland region.”
Northern Territory Labor Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Eva Lawler said the Barkly Stock Route was an important connection for local communities, industry, transport operators and tourists.
“This route is one of the most important road arteries in the Northern Territory. These upgrades to the Barkly Stock Route will not only provide jobs during construction, but will also support jobs into the future.
“This work will increase productivity and help support the ongoing viability of the cattle industry in the region by reducing the impacts of wet weather,” Ms Lawler said.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said the upgrade – majority funded by the Coalition Government through its Northern Australia Beef Roads Program – demonstrated the Government’s determination to improve flood immunity in Northern Australia.
“When works are completed, the upgrade will reduce road closures at these sections from approximately three months to around 15 days each year. It also means weight restrictions on heavy vehicles can be reduced on certain sections of the Barkly Stock Route,” Senator Canavan said.
“That means more efficient travel for livestock transporters, better productivity for the beef sector and long-term support for jobs in the Barkly region.”
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said the Barkly Stock Route was unsealed and wet weather conditions resulted in slippery surfaces and deep muddy sections, restricting heavy vehicle operations.
“The upgrade to a sealed standard of road will improve safety and boost the region’s heavy vehicle industry,” Senator Scullion said.
Member for Barkly Gerry McCarthy said “The Barkly Stock Route is an important transport corridor for the region and the Territory’s economic development. This project will allow the road to stay open for longer periods, supporting Northern Australia’s valuable beef industry.
The construction phase of the Barkly Stock Route Upgrading Project is expected to be completed by October 2019, weather permitting.
The Australian Government has committed up to $10 million to the project, with the Northern Territory Government committing a further $2.5 million.
More information on the Australian Government’s Northern Australia Beef Roads Program is available at https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure_investment/northern_australia_beef_roads.aspx.