Critical infrastructure upgrades that improve connectivity for rural and remote communities in the Northern Territory will be brought forward under a $184 million package.

The projects, which include the Outback Way, the Mango Industry Roads upgrades in Litchfield, and upgrades along the Adelaide River to Wadeye road corridor will provide better and more reliable freight links, and keep drivers safer on the Territory’s roads.

The Liberal and Nationals Government has been working with states and territories to bring forward critical infrastructure projects across Australia to drive jobs, strengthen the economy and get people home sooner and safer.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said delivering critical road projects sooner, as part of a $100 billion pipeline, was a key part of the Government’s plan for a stronger economy.

The Prime Minister said more than $84 million of the new package would be spent in the next 18 months as part of an overall commitment of more than $2.4 billion investment in Territory infrastructure since the 2013 election.

“By bringing funding for these important projects forward, we will drive jobs, boost the Northern Territory economy, reduce travel times and make roads safer,” the Prime Minister said.

“By getting these projects moving, the Territory benefits by getting goods to market more efficiently, improving connectivity and road safety, particularly during severe weather events, in rural and remote communities.

“Delivering critical road and rail projects sooner, as part of our $100 billion infrastructure pipeline, is responsible and considered economic management in partnership with the states and territories – not a knee-jerk reaction.”

Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner said the Territory was ready to go with delivery of these important projects.

“We welcome the Australian Government’s recognition of the challenges facing the Northern Territory as it plans investments in infrastructure projects,” Mr Gunner said.

“I am pleased to see an early injection of funding that will help us to deliver important upgrades to roads infrastructure across the Territory. This investment builds on the NT Government’s ongoing construction, tourism and housing stimulus programs.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the package included agreement to move ahead with the delivery of work the Northern Territory Government has indicated is ready to proceed.

“With these measures, the Liberal and Nationals Government has shown it is listening to states and territories and working cooperatively with them to deliver infrastructure projects,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Australian Government is investing heavily in key roads across the Territory that are vital to improved safety and supporting the economy through improved connectivity to the regions and to our markets.

“The Government recognises the need for these key rural roads to receive the upgrades they need to be safer, more efficient transport corridors as soon as possible.”

Northern Territory Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Eva Lawler said she was pleased funding was being brought forward to deliver these projects for Territorians.

“These projects will benefit the Territory’s economy by improving regional freight roads such as the Mango Industry Roads in Litchfield, as well as improving the quality of life for Territorians, including the many Indigenous communities, that live in remote regions of the Northern Territory”, Ms Lawler said.

“We will continue to work with the Australian Government to deliver other nationally significant infrastructure projects to further open up economic development in the Territory.”

Project funding brought forward:

$91.7 million for upgrades on the Alice Springs to Darwin road corridor, including the Mango Industry Roads upgrades in Litchfield;

    • Funding to flow immediately and over the next three years after previously being allocated beyond the forward estimates.
    • The Australian Government contribution to the project is $73.4 million and the Northern Territory Government contribution is $18.35 million ($91.7 million brought forward).

$54.3 million for the Adelaide River to Wadeye road corridor;

    • Funding to flow immediately and over the next three years after previously being allocated beyond the forward estimates.
    • The Australian Government contribution to the project is $43.5 million and the Northern Territory Government contribution is $10.8 million ($54.3 million brought forward).

$37.5 million for upgrades on the Outback Way;

    • Funding to flow in 2021–22 after previously being allocated beyond the forward estimates.
    • The Australian Government contribution to the project is $30 million and the Northern Territory Government contribution is $7.5 million ($37.5 million brought forward).