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Transport industry invited to have say on “Australia’s Route 66”

An upcoming forum on the Outback Highway is inviting input from the transport industry across a range of topics.  

The forum, which will take place on June 30 and July 1 at the QT Hotel in Canberra, will bring together representatives from the industry, the government, businesses, indigenous communities and the wider community.  

The event will begin the process of creating a “Benefits Roadmap” to chart the necessary projects, policies and requirements to start delivering benefits from the Outback Way “as soon as possible”.  

Topics tabled for discussion include:  

  • Tangible, near-term opportunities to improve the cost of living for isolated communities while increasing economic participation  
  • Business and industry, development and growth opportunities that open up new markets while reducing the cost of doing business 
  • Road infrastructure to improve safety, emergency access and mobility for locals, tourists, industry and freight 
  • Preparedness for the impacts of increased traffic and population growth on community, culture and the environment 
  • Developing and promoting an iconic tourism and cultural heritage attraction – Australia’s Route 66! 

Organisers said the forum will be “an engaging experience”, designed to support participation.  

“Day 1 will focus on whole-of-highway and regional benefits, and what will be needed to support their delivery,” they said.  “Day 2 will build on this, by focusing on the tangible, key benefits the highway offers in the immediate future, and the projects and plans needing to be put into action now.” 

Following the event, the results from both days will be used to create a Benefits Roadmap to accompany an Outback Highway Development Council (OHDC) report that will be available to all attendees and stakeholders to use as a communication tool for advocacy and coordination.  

The Outback Way promises to become “Australia’s longest shortcut”, creating a stretch of sealed road from Laverton in Western Australia to Winton in Queensland. 

The route will connect the east coast to the west, passing through Alice Springs. 

Main Roads WA said road design is currently in progress on the final 100 kilometre section between Warakurna to the WA and NT border, with the program currently being reviewed to ensure completion of sealing by 2032. 

For more information on the Outback Way Forum, visit the website here.

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