Central Arnhem Road Corridor upgrades

The Northern Territory Government is planning for the long term upgrade of Central Arnhem Road.

The Central Arnhem Road corridor is 685 kilometres and connects the regional centre of Nhulunbuy to the Stuart Highway.

It services a large number of Indigenous communities and is a key tourism drive and freight route for the mining and pastoral industries.

The Australian Government has committed $180 million and the Territory Government $50 million for upgrades to occur over the next five to ten years from 2019.


The upgrades will improve:

  • connectivity
  • flood immunity
  • road safety
  • travel time
  • accessibility.

The upgrades will provide opportunities for:

  • economic development for the region
  • Aboriginal employment and business supplier use.

The long term objective is to provide a two-lane sealed connection for the entire road. The current funding commitment will contribute to this long term objective.

Investment strategy

Territory-based consultant GHD has developed a draft investment strategy for stakeholder consultation.

This groups the road into short, medium and long term packages.

It will guide the delivery of works making sure the money is prioritised where it makes the most immediate difference for Territorians.

A summary of the investment strategy has been released for stakeholder comment.

Early works

While planning for the entire Central Arnhem Road is undertaken, three early-works packages will be delivered:

  • near Beswick (chainage 59.8 to 66.0 km)
  • near Goyder River (chainage 363.64 to 377.04 km)
  • near Bulman (chainage 250.825 to 25.945 km).

Community consultation

The Central Arnhem Road passes through both pastoral and Aboriginal land.

One of the key objectives of the project is to respect culture and country.

Consultation with Traditional Owners will be conducted through the Northern Land Council.

Broader community consultation has commenced with the:

  • Katherine and Nhulunbuy communities, as well as
  • businesses and organisations that use Central Arnhem Road.

Stakeholder update

To register for stakeholder updates on this project, email transport.planning@nt.gov.au.


Stakeholder Engagement Manager
Transport Planning
Phone: 08 8924 7118

Last updated: 23 June 2021

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