Contractors progress 40km of Outback Way sealing in WA

Image courtesy of the Outback Way Organisation.

The Wongutha Way Alliance has begun work to seal a 40-kilometre stretch of the Great Central Road on the Western Australian section of the Outback Way.

In May 2020, a $20 million contract was awarded to the alliance for these works. CareyMC and Central Earthmoving Company are the two companies in the alliance.

The Outback Way is a road connecting Western Australia to Queensland through the Northern Territory. Full sealing of the road is happening in stages and once completed it will become Australia’s third transcontinental highway.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said pre-construction works to source gravel and water are well underway. The construction team are now preparing to start works on the first section 11-kilometres east of Laverton.

“The project includes the reconstruction and sealing the road surface, which will ultimately form part of the longer-term upgrade of the Outback Way,” McCormack says.

“It will link Laverton in Western Australia’s Goldfields with Alice Springs in the Northern Territory and ultimately connecting to Winton in Queensland.”

Western Australian Minister for Transport and Planning Rita Saffioti said sealing the Great Central Road would not only improve access significantly for local Aboriginal communities and industry, it would also provide a great Aussie Outback experience.

“Sealing the Great Central Road will allow more visitors to travel this iconic route and experience a true Western Australian Outback adventure,” Saffioti said.

“I’m pleased to see the work being undertaken by the Wongutha Way Alliance to maximise the employment of local Aboriginal people.”

She says Aboriginal employment on this project is expected to well exceed the WA Government’s nine per cent target for Aboriginal participation within the Goldfields.

“This project embodies our commitment to providing long-term, sustainable employment opportunities for Western Australians in the most remote parts of WA.”

Works are also expected to improve safety on the road which is known to suffer from corrugation, loose rocks and potholes.

The $46.5 million project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing $37.2 million and the Western Australian Government $9.3 million.

Sealing is expected to be completed on this 40-kilometre section by mid-2021. Then a further 40-kilometres is set to be upgraded in 2021-22.

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