$248m cash haul for Karratha-Tom Price Road

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Karratha to Tom Price Road.
Camera IconKarratha to Tom Price Road. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

The Pilbara has finally been promised multimillion-dollar funding from the Federal Government for the completion of the much-needed Karratha-Tom Price Road after more than a decade of campaigning.

The $248 million is part of a $1.6 billion package from Prime Minister Scott Morrison to be spent on infrastructure projects across WA.

The decision to fund stage four of the road project comes less than two months after it was listed on Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List.

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said she had been advocating for this project for some time and was delighted the announcement had been made.

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“This is committed money, not just an election commitment,” she said.

“The funds that have been allocated have come out of the ROSI (Roads of Strategic Importance fund) and that particular fund was already budgeted in the 18-19 budget.”

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the current condition of the road was poor and sealing it would generate substantial economic and social benefits for the entire Pilbara region.

“These include improving travel times and access to healthcare for remote inland communities, enhancing flood resilience, and unlocking opportunities for our tourism and mining sectors,” he said.

Early estimates from the State Government for the completion of stage three and four is about $310 million.

However, Federal funding combined with the $50 million already promised by the McGowan Government leaves the project $12 million short.

Member for the North West Central Vince Catania believes it is up to the State Government to fund the shortfall.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the State Government had identified the funding gap and would ensure the full project costs were met and that stage four would proceed as planned.

“It’s a road we have consistently put forward as a priority since taking office two years ago,” she said.

“Communities across the Pilbara now have certainty that stage four of the Karratha-Tom Price Road will be built within a reasonable timeframe.”

Stage three of the road is ready to start construction in June, while Main Roads continues to plan and develop the final 107km stage four of the project.

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