Goldfield Highway - Media Release

Published on Thursday, 29 February 2024 at 9:19:01 AM


29 February 2024

Save Our Highway


As the Shire’s of Wiluna and Meekatharra continue to plea on behalf of their communities for the remaining unsealed section of the Goldfields Highway to be completely sealed, the State Government announced in December 2023 a forecast $3.7billion operating surplus for the 2023/24 year! Treasurer and Minister for Transport, the Hon Rita Saffioti announced the operating surplus for the 2023-24 year with surpluses forecast to continue over the forward estimates. The 2023/24 Budget Overview supports the strong financial position of the WA State Government, so the question remains why can’t an allocation of circa $90million of the budget surplus be used to seal the remainder of the Goldfields Highway? Ironically, a majority of the increased surplus is a result of increased revenue from the mining sector, especially iron ore prices and where this mining activity occurs in regional areas such as the Murchison communities of Meekatharra and Wiluna.


The Minister also admits in an earlier statement that she “recognizes the increased use of the road by heavy vehicles due to increased mining activity and the impact this increased use is having on the unsealed section of the road network”. In doing so, she also acknowledges that “the condition of the unsealed section of the road is rapidly deteriorating due to this increased heavy vehicle usage”. Is this statement and admission not enough to highlight the urgency of the matter?


The Minister has confirmed a key objective of the funding allocated to date has been to create and sustain employment and training opportunities for local Indigenous people, stating that this approach will “be applied to the next 5 km west of Roslyn Hill scheduled for later this year”. This still leaves over one hundred kms to seal with no confirmation when this remaining section will be sealed!


While the Shire’s of Meekatharra and Wiluna greatly support the concept promoted by the Minister to engage the local indigenous population that will provide employment and training opportunities, we question why this concept cannot be applied to sealing the entire 124 kms of the road network. This would surely provide long term employment, training security and sustainability, as opposed to only providing short term employment and training opportunities in approx. 5 km increments? Sealing of the entire remaining section of the road network would provide approximately 12 to 18 months of meaningful and continual engagement as opposed to short term projects of 6 to 10 weeks only.


Both Shire Presidents of Meekatharra and Wiluna will therefore continue to ask the question ‘why the project cannot be entirely completed that would surely provide more benefits to the local indigenous community, as well as the tourism, mining and freight industry alike?’


The Shire Presidents of Meekatharra and Wiluna will continue to lobby and explore alternative options for the complete sealing of the remaining 124 km of unsealed road between Wiluna and Meekatharra. The condition of the unsealed road continues to deteriorate with vehicle accidents also an unfortunate regular occurrence.


  Cr Harvey Nichols                                                  Cr Peter Grundy

Shire President                                                        Shire President

Shire of Meekatharra                                              Shire of Wiluna



Contact: Kelvin Matthews Chief Executive Officer - Meekatharra 0417 989076

Gary Gaffney Chief Executive Officer - Wiluna 0417141877


Back to All News