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Eva Lawler

Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics

Media Release

Tender Awarded for Weddell Freeway Planning Study

12 April 2022

The Territory Labor Government is planning for the future development of the Territory.

A planning study tender has been awarded for the future development of the Weddell Freeway.

Consultancy firm SMEC Australia, who have a presence in the Territory, have been awarded the contract to undertake the planning study and develop a concept design of the proposed freeway in consultation with key stakeholders.

The Weddell Freeway would be a link from Tiger Brennan Drive near Palmerston, to the Stuart Highway south of Darwin near Noonamah and will improve access and traffic flow from the Darwin CBD to rural areas.

Commencing from Tiger Brennan Drive, The proposed corridor will run adjacent to the railway line west of the Palmerston Town Centre, travel through to the area of Weddell before connecting to the Stuart Highway near Cox Peninsula Road.

Development of the Weddell Freeway will assist with access to the proposed Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct, greenfield developments identified for Weddell and rural activity centres within the Litchfield Council municipality on the edge of Greater Darwin.

The planning study will take into account the interface between the freeway and other road, rail and utilities corridors.

The preliminary alignment of the freeway is already defined and zoned under the Northern Territory Planning Scheme as a Proposed Main Road, which reserves land for future development as a significant road transport infrastructure corridor. This study and eventual concept design for a Weddell Freeway are underpinned by more than 30 years of planning.

Informed by consultation with key stakeholders, the planning study will include the development of a concept design, cost estimates and a construction staging plan.

Recently, the Northern Territory Planning Commission released the final draft of the Holtze to Elizabeth River Subregional Land Use Plan for public comment, which further highlights the future requirement for the Weddell Freeway.

The draft concept design is expected to be completed by mid-2023.

Quotes attributed to the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Eva Lawler:

“The Territory Labor Government is planning for the future of the Northern Territory.

“The planning study for the Weddell Freeway will include developing a concept design, cost estimates and identify potential construction stages to support funding options for the project.

“The process which is currently underway is part of good planning that will make sure the future development complements our existing community and aligns with our Territory way of life.

“We will continue to plan for and invest in sustainable precincts across the Territory that will enable existing and new industries to grow, providing long-term job opportunities that support our aim to create a $40 billion economy by 2030.”

Northern Territory Government

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