The Australian Government has announced the preferred contractor for the Midland Highway-Perth Link roads project.

Local Tasmanian joint venture, VEC-Shaw, has been announced as the preferred contractor.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the Perth Link roads project was the single largest component of the $500 million Midland Highway ten year action plan announced in 2015 and funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments.

“With the completion of the Perth to Breadalbane Duplication, the Perth Link roads project is the final link in providing dual carriageway from Launceston to South of Perth,” Mr McCormack said.

“Consistent with the action plan objective of providing a highway with a minimum 3-star Aus RAP safety rating along its entire length, the Perth Link Roads project will deliver a range of safety benefits to the community.

“This includes diverting heavy vehicles and highway traffic around the Perth town centre, reducing traffic noise and congestion for the Perth community, and improving travel times along the Midland Highway.”

Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure, Jeremy Rockliff, said upgrading the key North-South route will future-proof the regions to ensure they can continue their strong economic growth while improving the lives of Tasmanians.

“These works are not only resulting in significant safety increases for all road users, they are providing certainty for our civil construction sector and creating jobs for Tasmanians with numerous flow-on benefits for local businesses.

“This continued strong investment in our Midland Highway ten year action plan will help us achieve our ambitious targets to reduce serious injuries on our roads to zero by 2050, and to increase investment in public infrastructure by 20 per cent in the next four years.

“Work on the Perth Links Road is due to start in late 2018 and be completed by the end of 2020, subject to the finalisation of the contract,” Mr Rockliff said.

Minister Rockliff also said threatened environmental species such as the Green and Gold frog would also be protected with specialised drainage pathways that are industry best-practice.

The Australian Government has committed $83 million to the $92 million Perth Link Roads project in partnership with the Tasmanian Government.

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