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NT construction projects to get $53M boost

A new Northern Territory-based $500 million methanol plant could see the creation of 1000 construction jobs.

An additional $53 million of funding will go towards shovel-ready construction projects and urgent road safety upgrades in the Northern Territory.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said further investment in infrastructure would play a critical role in the Commonwealth’s JobMaker plan and help the Northern Territory economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Partnering with state and territory governments to invest in more major infrastructure projects across Australia is a key part of our JobMaker plan to rebuild our economy and create more jobs,” Morrison said.

“This funding injection means we have brought forward or provided additional infrastructure funding of nearly $190 million across the NT in the past eight months.

“This package builds on the fast tracking of $147 million for infrastructure in NT which we announced last November, locking in priority upgrades that will increase productivity, improve safety, and boost jobs at a time we need it most.”

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Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack said the funding injection would support local jobs, businesses and the economy while providing lasting infrastructure to help the Territory bounce back as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

“We have worked closely with State, Territory and Local Governments to identify shovel-ready projects right across the country to strengthen the economy and get money flowing into jobs and businesses as soon as possible,” McCormack said.

“In the Northern Territory, this will see us invest in life-saving upgrades along major routes such as the Stuart, Barkly, Carpentaria and Victoria Highways, as well as improving safety around remote intersections and roadhouses.

“By investing in critical infrastructure projects across the country, we are doing more than just supporting local jobs and businesses at this critical time. We are investing in our future beyond COVID-19 by delivering lasting infrastructure which will benefit Australians for years to come.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the package included $34.6 million for life-saving road safety improvements across the Territory.

“This funding will deliver critical safety works along three of the Territory’s busiest highways – the Stuart, Barkly and Victoria Highways – including sealing shoulders and improving or installing guardrails, truck stops and audio-tactile line markings to reduce crashes,” Gunner said.

“We will also be widening and sealing shoulders at critical points along Litchfield Park Road. This is a particularly popular tourist route, so completing these works now will ensure the road is safer for when tourism bounces back in the Territory.”

The jointly funded package is supported by investments from the Commonwealth ($40.4 million) and Northern Territory Government ($12.7 million).

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