Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will announce $60 million in federal funding to upgrade the Bass Highway, when he visits Wynyard on Sunday.
Part of the $400 million Tasmanian Roads Package, it comes after the state government committed $40 million to the highway in last month’s state budget.
The upgrade includes widening parts of the 112 kilometre stretch, adding overtaking lanes and improving intersections. Mr Turnbull said the upgrade would create more job opportunities for Tasmanians in the short term during the works, while also assisting the small, family and medium businesses who used the freight route.
“We recognised the Bass Highway’s critical function in serving both industry and local communities in Northern Tasmania,” he said.
“These upgrades will create the opportunity for more freight between Tasmania’s two biggest ports, Burnie and Devonport.
“The corridor plays a vital role in transporting agriculture and industrial products which drive the economy in Northern Tasmania and create jobs for residents in the region.
“Tourists visiting Tasmania’s northern coastline will benefit from a safer travel journey and the ability to reach their destination sooner.”
In May, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack met with Waratah-Wynyard Mayor Robby Walsh, Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam, Senator Richard Colbeck and Braddon Liberal candidate Brett Whiteley to discuss their priorities for the safety upgrades. The federal government’s Tasmanian Roads Package will be released throughout the next ten years as part of the Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative.