The creator of the ambitious project providing a direct road route between the Goldfields and central Queensland said he “drew a tear” when he heard that $678 million had been pledged to finish off the long-running project. The Federal Government announced on Monday that it would invest the money to seal the remaining 1000km of the Outback Way, creating thousands of jobs and better connecting regional industries and communities.
Nicknamed Australia’s “longest shortcut”, the Outback Way spans 2700km between Laverton and Winton and has secured about $400 million since 2006, with 1500km of the route so far sealed.
Chairman of the Outback Highway Development Council for 25 years, Laverton’s Pat Hill, said he was
overwhelmed with emotion when he heard the funding had been committed to complete the billion-dollar project he conceived in the mid-1990s.
“It’s overwhelming really, I didn’t expect it but I’m very excited that we will see the end of it now, that it’s actually going to happen,” he said.
“Over the years we seemed to take three steps forward and two steps backwards and were always one step ahead, which was the most important part, but all these issues popped up and we have finally worn all of them out. The road will be a huge economic boost to our local communities.”
There will be over 1080 new jobs created as part of this project.
CREDIT – Countryman