Informit article: Tarring the tanami

While selected articles are available in full on this website, all Arena Quarterly, Arena Magazine and Arena Journal articles are available for purchase in PDF format from Informit.


Bitumen is one of industrial capitalism’s great foundational inventions. A well-rolled-out piece of road carries so many transformative effects – on the comfort of the ride, on the rate of accidents, on the longevity of vehicles and, perhaps most crucially for capitalism, on the precious time taken to get from A to B. Rolling out bitumen continues to be the cornerstone of so many nation-making projects, in blind disregard of the environ mental havoc wrought by our history of transport. I was pondering all of this last month as I drove the Tanami Highway, a road that stretches just over 1000 kilometres from where it forks from the Stuart Highway twenty kilometres north of Alice Springs, to its north-westerly end point at Halls Creek in the Kimberley.

Details / PDF:

The full-text PDF of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Support Arena

Independent publications and critical thought are more important than ever. Arena has never relied on or received government funding. It has sustained its activities largely through the voluntary work and funding provided by editors and supporters. If Arena is to continue and to expand its readership, we need your support to do it.