The Federal and Western Australian Governments have awarded a $20 million contract to undertake road surface reconstruction and sealing works on Great Central Road (Outback Way) in WA.
Wongutha Way Alliance, a joint venture between CareyMC and Central Earthmoving Company, was awarded the contract.
In consultation with local First Nations Elders, the Alliance was aptly named the Wongutha Way Alliance, meaning the broad group of local Aboriginal people who reside in the area and celebrating the united commitment to provide benefit to local communities.
The Great Central Road project is a jointly funded project with the Australian Government committing $37.2 million and the West Australian Government committing $9.3 million.
Work will soon begin on a 41km section of Great Central Road. The project includes reconstruction of the pavement and sealing the road surface, which will ultimately form part of the longer-term upgrade of ‘Outback Way’.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said providing interstate connectivity for tourists, communities and the freight industry will help support Australia’s economy far into the future.
“This will create Australia’s third Transcontinental Highway, providing a sealed route starting in Laverton, Western Australia, through Alice Springs in the Northern Territory and connecting all the way to Winton in Queensland,” Mr McCormack said.
West Australian Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti, said sealing Great Central Road would allow more visitors to travel this iconic route for a true West Australian Outback experience.
“The Wongutha Way Alliance is the first of its kind, and embodies our commitment to providing long term, sustainable employment opportunities for West Australians in the most remote parts of our state,” Ms Saffioti said.
“It is pleasing to see the commitment made by this joint venture in both training and guiding trainees on this project.”
The Wongutha Way Alliance has been preparing for this project since 2019, with the recruitment of local Aboriginal people into structured training programs.
These programs included theory and practical ‘hands-on’ training modules, which were carried out in the Laverton Community Hall, Carey’s Laverton yard and nearby sites.
A graduation ceremony was held in Laverton on February 14, 2020 where each trainee was presented a training certificate and offered a job with CareyMC to work on the Outback Way project.
Western Australian Treasurer and Minister for Finance, Aboriginal Affairs, and Lands, Ben Wyatt, said the communities along the Great Central Road offer some of the most unique cultural experiences in the country, giving tourists a real insight into Australia’s Aboriginal heritage.
“This project will see up to 30 Aboriginal people involved in construction works and ongoing employment opportunities, with an expected economic boost from an increase in visitors to the area,” Mr Wyatt said.
“Both CareyMC and Central Earthmoving have embraced the McGowan Government’s commitment to increase employment opportunities for local Aboriginal people and businesses in the region.”