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Outback Way

About the program

The Australian Government is investing $330 million to upgrade key sections of the Outback Way, the 2,800 kilometre route that links Laverton in Western Australia with Winton in Queensland via Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

This $330 million investment is made up of a number of commitments which together are delivering upgrades to the Outback Way over a more than 10 year period. See below for a breakdown of funding commitments and individual projects.

2018 $160 million Commitment

In April 2018, the Australian Government announced a further $160 million to seal and widen sections of the Outback Way.

The Australian Government allocated the $160 million commitment among the jurisdictions as follows:

  • Queensland—$33.5 million
  • Northern Territory—$50 million
  • Western Australia—$76.5 million

The Australian Government is working with Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia to identify the sections of the Outback Way to be upgraded under this commitment.

2016 $100 million Commitment

In 2016, the Australian Government committed $100 million to upgrade targeted sections of the Outback Way. Works to be undertaken include safety and productivity improvements, such as road widening and sealing.

In order to identify projects, the Australian Government commissioned an Investment Strategy to help inform the allocation of the $100 million commitment.

2013 $42 million Commitment

In 2013, the Australian Government committed an initial $42 million towards the Outback Way, for projects across the three northern jurisdictions.


2016 $100 million Commitment


Northern Territory

Western Australia

Northern Australia Roads Program (NARP)

2013 $42 million Commitment


The Australian Government investment in the Outback Way will improve the inter-jurisdictional transport network by increasing connectivity and reducing travel times, in addition to cutting costs for freight operators and enhancing economic opportunities for the cattle, mining and tourism industries.

The investment in the Outback Way will also improve access for remote and Indigenous communities to health and social services. By improving access to health and social services, these upgrades help build on government initiatives intended to improve standards of living and equity for Indigenous communities.


The Australian Government will fund up to a maximum of 80 per cent of the total project cost in partnership with state and territory governments and relevant local councils.


Funding for the Outback Way is available from the 2013–14 financial year to the 2028-29 financial year.


  • Map of the 2016 $100 million Outback Way Commitment PDF: 8987 KB 

Investment Strategy

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