Sir,- The Outback Highway Development Council Inc (OHDC) in the last two months has updated the WA, Qld and the federal governments and the federal opposition about the Outback Way project, which returns $4.70 into the economy for every dollar spent.
The meetings have been advantageous, with welcome support from all levels of government. However the appropriate funding avenue needs further work, by us, the states and the Commonwealth.
With the current IA state priority listing as a critical component, the Outback Way struggles to compete with the larger projects – yet delivers on every other assessment guidelines
The OHDC Inc. will be working with IA in the coming months, in addition working with the states and the Territory to pursue a stand-alone project from the three relevant jurisdictions, and efforts are continuing to include a strategic component in IA funding mechanism so cross border projects can be recognised on their merits – ie: being good for the whole of Northern Australia, without the need for State priority listing.
We are shovel ready, if given the funding – we have the first five years of road works prioritised by sections effecting connectivity the most, the decisions are about the whole route and don’t get caught on parochial state and territory borders.
As Glen Stevens from the RBA suggested we need enabling infrastructure to keep Australia going – the Outback Way saves two days travel from Perth to North Queensland for freight, $16,000/mining movement one way from Qld to WA, $1million / shift for emergency equipment transfers, makes it easier for WA and Qld to use the Darwin port, it changes the way we do business both domestically and as an exporting nation.
Chairman OHDC Inc.