Building better infrastructure is critical to making living and doing business in the north easier and more productive.
Our northern regional and remote communities need better roads, rail links, airports and telecommunications so they can stay connected, travel safely, access health and education services and run their businesses, regardless of the season. Better infrastructure allows our farmers, miners and other producers to get their products to markets more easily and reliably; and will help grow the tourism industry.
Infrastructure Australia’s 2015 Northern Australia Infrastructure Audit identified key pinch points and infrastructure needs across all northern jurisdictions and the three northern governments have identified additional priority northern road projects.
View Infrastructure Australia’s audit on the agency’s website.
Upgrading remote airfields
The government has invested over $15 million to upgrade regional and remote northern airstrips to improve access to essential medical and education services, fresh foods, and employment, particularly during the wet season.
Twenty-two northern Australia Remote Airstrip Upgrade program projects have been completed, 25 are on schedule and a further 21 have recently been annouced.
Find out more about the upgrading of remote northern airstrips on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website.
Better roads: connecting the north
The northern roads program includes a commitment of $700 million across 38 road projects to improve safety; community connection to services; and better connect communities and producers to domestic and international markets.
This investment includes the Northern Australia Roads Program:
- five projects worth $192.19 million in the Northern Territory
- ten projects worth $223.8 million in Queensland
- five projects worth $171.81 million in Western Australia.
And, the Northern Australia Beef Roads Program:
- two projects worth $30 million in the Northern Territory
- fifteen projects worth $56.87 million in Queensland
- one project worth $12.51 million in Western Australia.
The Australian Government has committed an additional $160 million to seal and widen priority sections of the iconic Outback Way, taking its total commitment to this route to $330 million. This commitment will improve the safety and reliability of this route for pastoralists and others who use the road at a growing rate, including domestic and international tourists.
Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility
The government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) is a fundamental driver of economic and population growth in the north.
In partnership with other lenders, the NAIF provides finance for infrastructure projects that will help transform and provide public benefit for northern Australia.
Find updated information on NAIF and its investment pipeline on the agency’s website.
Stronger communities and vibrant cities
The northern agenda is supporting the development of strong and resilient communities that attract workers, families, businesses and investors because of the great opportunities they offer.
City Deals help to develop productive, accessible, liveable cities that encourage innovation and create opportunities for residents. They support job creation, economic growth, investment in local infrastructure and urban revitalisation.
A 2016 Townsville City Deal involves the construction of the North Queensland Stadium which is already underway; the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor rail freight line; and investment in new renewable energy projects.
Three major associated public–private joint investment projects are the Ross River Solar Farm, Kidston Solar and Pumped Hydro Project and the Kennedy Energy Park.
In May 2017, the Australian and Northern Territory Governments agreed to work together to create a Darwin City Deal and progress to negotiate the deal is underway.
The government’s Building Better Regions Fund and the $472 million Regional Growth Fund are delivering improvements in the north as well. The north is receiving $57 million in the first round of Building Better Regions Fund grants which support projects that will create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities.