Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

Outback Way

About the program

The Outback Way is a 2,720 kilometre route that traverses Central Australia, connecting Laverton in Western Australia with Winton in Queensland via Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. The condition of the route varies, with sections of unsealed, single lane seal and dual lane seal of differing standards and quality.

The Australian Government will continue to invest in the Outback Way in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, maintaining a total investment of $1 billion. These upgrades are being completed progressively, with multiple projects currently underway or in planning, and include both sealing and widening works.

Projects

Queensland

Northern Territory

Western Australia

Benefits

The Australian Government investment in the Outback Way will significantly improve the usability of the route, improving safety, accessibility and reliability. A sealed Outback Way will provide an alternative, shorter route through Central Australia, reducing interstate travel time and increasing freight efficiency.

Upgrades will generate economic opportunities for numerous industries and business opportunities along the corridor, particularly within the freight, mining and tourism industries.

Improved connectivity along the Outback Way will also deliver important economic and social benefits for regional communities. The upgrades provide increased employment opportunities and improved access to goods and services, particularly for remote and Indigenous communities. By improving access to health and social services, these upgrades help build on Australian Government initiatives intended to increase standards of living and equity for Indigenous communities.

Funding

The Australian Government funds a percentage of the total project cost in partnership with state and territory governments, and relevant local councils.

Allocations across jurisdictions are as follows:

  • Queensland: $220 million
  • Northern Territory: $263 million
  • Western Australia: $525 million

Timetable

Planning and construction is progressing along the route and funding for the Outback Way is available to the 2030-31 financial year.

Map

Investment Strategy

Investment Strategy to inform the Australian Government’s commitments to upgrading the Outback Way PDF: 1334 KB