Outback Way to become Australia’s ‘Route 66’

The Outback Highway Development Council Inc has commented on what will become ‘Australia’s Route 66’, with the Outback Way continuing to be built.

The new transport route promises to become Australia’s longest shortcut, creating an iconic stretch from Laverton in Western Australia to Winton in Queensland.

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The route plans to connect the east coast to the west, passing through Alice Springs.

The highway is currently being sealed and is set to become a thriving corridor of commercial investment and development, with a network of intermodal hubs and industrial estates planned alongside it.

Main Roads WA says road design is currently in progress on the final 100 kilometre section between Warakurna to the WA and NT border, with the program currently being reviewed to ensure completion of sealing by 2032.

With tenders nearly ready to be called for to accelerate works, the recommencement of sealing on priority sections near Cosmo Newberry and Warburton will begin next year.

Once complete, developing intermodal hubs and facilities that manage the exchange and storage of shipping containers over longer journeys will make a new scale of commercial opportunities possible in the Australian outback and across the nation.

Mayor of Boulia in Queensland, Rick Britton, who is a key advocate for the project, says this will offer business and investment opportunities in transport, freight, mining, agriculture, tourism, accommodation, roadhouses, environment and clean energy.

“The Outback Way is not just a road; it’s the backbone of economic growth for regional Australia,” Britton says.

“By developing intermodal hubs in Laverton, Winton and Alice Springs, we are unlocking the full potential of this vast landscape, fostering commercial opportunities and improving the quality and liveability of local communities.”

The Outback Highway Development Council is hosting the Outback Way Forum 2024 in Canberra to involve participants in developing ways to capitalise on these opportunities.

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