Shire representatives plan for the future of Outback Way at annual AGM

Published on Tuesday, 20 September 2022 at 12:00:00 AM

A delegation from the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku attended the Outback Highway Development Council’s (OHDC) annual general meeting on 31 August in Winton, QLD. The AGM marked the 25th anniversary of the OHDC and was the first held in-person since 2019, with the previous two AGMs hosted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Hannagan, who also serves as the OHDC’s Treasurer, joined members and representatives from Shires in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland, in planning the next developments for the Outback Way. Upcoming works are supported by an additional $678 million allocated by the Australian Government announced in March 2022, with a further 20% funding matched by the states. Plans for the Outback Way in WA within the next year are commencement of sealing works within the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku.

In addition to planning upcoming works, the AGM provided a timely opportunity to assess the future of the OHDC’s organisational goals once the sealing for the entire road is complete. Prospective objectives for the OHDC to focus on includes the further development of economic opportunities, such as activating tourism initiatives.

Spanning 2,700 km from Laverton in WA’s Goldfields region to Winton, QLD, the Outback Way is well placed to support tourism and facilitate visitor access to remote areas. In May this year, the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku voiced its approval of the Australia’s Golden Outback tourism proposal developed by Tourism WA, which commits financial resources and plans to boost tourism in the Goldfields region.

Shire President Damian McLean said the key takeaway from this year’s AGM was the continued role the OHDC has in both infrastructure and economic development for regional areas situated along the route. “The Outback Way is a critical piece of infrastructure in Australia’s national development and the long-term sustainability of communities,” said Cr McLean.

“While the future focus will be to attract visitors to our regions accessible by the road, the core of the Outback Way and the OHDC’s mission is to maintain connectivity through improved access and equity of service provisions to rural and remote communities.”

Originating in 1997 and officially founded in 1998, the OHDC is composed of a group of councils dedicated to supporting the upgrade and sealing of the Outback Way through financial and in-kind support. The organisation has secured over $1 billion in funding to date.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Damian McLean
Shire President
P: (08) 8956 7966

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