Tuesday, 8 March 2022


The Australian Government has today announced a $40 million funding boost for further upgrades to the Horrocks Highway to make it safer, improve this key freight route for local primary producers and enhance the driver experience for tourists heading to the Mid North and Clare Valley.

This brings the Australian Government’s total investment for the now $105 million project to $84 million, in an 80:20 split with the South Australian Government.

The additional funding will widen and strengthen bridges at Wakefield River, Hutt River and Rocky River, upgrade local road junctions, deliver shoulder sealing and curve widening, install safety barriers and Audio Tactile Line Marking, and provide overtaking lane extensions at Tarlee and Templers.

This builds on the package of works already underway on the corridor, including installing new overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing along priority sections between Clare and Auburn and south of Giles Corner, improvements to the Gladstone level crossing, and the replacement of a bridge and a culvert north of Melrose.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Australian Government is delivering the infrastructure South Australia needs and deserves.

“This package of works along the Horrocks Highway will boost safety, community connections and freight efficiency along this key route,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Not only will this have a significant impact for communities and businesses well into the future, it will also support 135 jobs during construction to provide a much-needed short-term economic boost.

“Safer and more efficient highways mean freight can be moved to international and domestic buyers more quickly and tourists can reach their destination sooner, ensuring these important sectors continue to drive our economy.”

Finance Minister and Senator for South Australia Simon Birmingham said the project would improve safety and ride quality for motorists while increasing accessibility for local freight networks.

“The Horrocks Highway is a vital rural route in South Australia, and is a major gateway connecting primary producers and tourists alike from the Clare Valley to the Mid North of our state,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Upgrading this key route will also improve access for our primary producers and local businesses to domestic and international markets, ensuring their local produce can get to where it needs to.”

South Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Corey Wingard said the Marshall Liberal Government and Federal Government were getting on with delivering the necessary upgrades to the Horrocks Highway.

“Our regional roads are critically important but they were ignored for years and left to severely deteriorate under the former Labor government,” Minister Wingard said.

“This additional funding for works on the Horrocks Highway is another major win for motorists in the Mid North and Clare Valley and is part of our plan to build a stronger future for our state.

“Thanks to the Marshall Liberal Government’s strong partnership with the Federal Government, more than $2.8 billion has been invested in our country roads – a record amount that’s improving safety and productivity.”

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said securing this additional funding was a big win for the thousands of local residents and businesses who rely on this key route.

“The works promised before the last election started at Wilmington at the northern end of the highway and worked their way down now, to south of Auburn and the improvement is dramatic,” Mr Ramsey said.

“This latest investment will push the works further south improving the “Horrocks” for all, but particularly making it friendlier for the wine and tourism trade coming up from Adelaide.

“The state of our roads, overtime, has probably been the most consistent issue people have raised with me and that it is why it is so satisfying to be able to say that government investment in the network is at unprecedented levels.

“We are repairing the highways and the byways of the nation and the importance of that cannot be underestimated for local residents, farmers and tourism operators.

“Currently more than $1 billion is either committed, underway or completed for roadworks in Grey and this is of course is increased by the State Government’s 20 per cent contribution. From one end of Grey to the other works are underway, including on the Horrocks Highway.”

Since 2013-14, the Australian Government has committed over $12.9 billion towards infrastructure projects in South Australia. This includes $59 million for the South Australian section of the Port Augusta to Perth corridor upgrade, and $160 million toward the Joy Baluch AM Bridge duplication.

For further information on the Rural Roads Package – Horrocks Highway Corridor project visit https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/projects/Project_id=100661-18SA-NP.