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New impetus for Outback Way.



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Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald Opposition Spokesman on Northern Australia Liberal Senator for Queensland

MEDIA RELEASE

NEW IMPETUS FOR OUTBACK WAY

Two North Queensland politicians will be leaving the North today to join the push for the Outback Way which will connect North Queensland to Perth.

North Queensland based Senator and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia Ian Macdonald said that he and Peter Lindsay, the MP for the Townsville based electorate of Herbert, will be joining with other politicians from around Australia at the launch of the permanent office of the Outback Highway Development Council in Alice Springs later today.

“Following the launch of the new permanent lobbying headquarters, Peter Lindsay and I, and a number of other politicians will be joining a convoy of Outback Highway Development Council members to drive from Alice Springs to Winton for the Annual General Meeting of the Outback Highway Development Council.

“The Outback Way actually covers the road from Winton in Queensland through the Laverton and on completion will facilitate tourist travel from Perth to North Queensland.

“The direct across the centre highway will also lessen the cost of freight between these two significant localities in Australia.

“The highway also has important defence implications”.

The highway from Winton to Laverton comprises 2,750 kilometres about 35% of it is currently sealed with the further 65% of it in reasonably trafficable condition.

It is the goal of the Council to complete the current upgrade of the Outback Way, which will make it an all-weather road, by 2014.

Completion of the highway will reduce the round trip across Australia by 1,600 kilometres and directly or indirectly affect 5.5 million Australians. There are also huge benefits for mining and beef production right across the Australian Centre.

When the convoy reaches Winton participants will be guests of the Winton Shire Council and will be hosted to a series of significant dinosaur museums and sites including The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, the Waltzing Matilda Centre and Lark Quarry.

The Parliamentary Convoy has been jointly organised by the Outback Highway Council and the Parliamentary Group of Friends of the Outback Highway of which the co-chairman are Senator Macdonald and Northern Territory Senator Trish Crossin.

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27 August 2009 Media contact Gordon Terry (07) 4771 3066 or 0427 960 255