Karratha-Tom Price Road put on priority list for action

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

The Federal Government is no longer able to deny the importance of the Karratha-Tom Price Road after Australia’s peak independent infrastructure body listed the project on its priority list.

Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List provides decision-makers with advice and guidance on nationally significant infrastructure investments that will underpin Australia's continued prosperity.

Infrastructure Australia senior economist Rob Buschby said the State Government had provided it with a submission for the road and, as part of its assessment, IA had looked at the national significance of the problem.

“The current road is unsealed for over half of its length, which is slowing down travellers but also introducing safety risks, particularly after poor weather,” he said.

“There is also an impact to the indigenous communities that rely on the road, and we found the condition of it was impacting on tourism as well as businesses and mining operations in the area.”

Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said the State Government, through Main Roads, had worked hard to get the Karratha-Tom Price Road on the IA Infrastructure Priority List.

“Now that the benefits are recognised by the nation’s infrastructure body, the State Government is in a better position to leverage our contribution and securethe additional Commonwealth funding required to complete construction,” she said.

“I have also written to the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack to outline the many benefits this road will bring to the region and to request the extra funding required to progress further stages.”

Infrastructure Australia is required to assess business cases that are seeking more than $100 million in Federal funding and such cases may take time to develop.

However, the Karratha-Tom Price Road has been listed as being a problem in the near -term, which means within the next five years.

“This is something we should be planning for now and not waiting until later,” Mr Buschby said.

“It’s of national significance and we’re calling on Government to prioritise action on it.”

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