Work be­gins on $65m road pro­ject

Broome Advertiser - - News - Jakeb Wad­dell

Work has be­gun on build­ing a bi­tu­men road to im­prove ac­cess be­tween Broome and a num­ber of indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties and tourist des­ti­na­tions.

A tra­di­tional smok­ing cer­e­mony on the Dampier Penin­sula last Fri­day sig­nalled the start of clear­ing and earth­works to the Broome to Cape Leveque Road, which is due to be sealed later this year.

The lo­cal gov­ern­ment road will un­dergo a $65 mil­lion up­grade to bi­tu­menise the re­main­ing mid­dle sec­tion of its 192km length.

Main Roads WA have man­aged its con­struc­tion on be­half of the Shire of Broome.

The un­sealed 92km stretch of dirt is known for its rough driv­ing con­di­tions and had led to a num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties.

It is of­ten closed in the re­gion’s wet sea­son be­cause of flood­ing and ero­sion.

MRWA said seal­ing works were due to start by the mid­dle of the year and would take three to four years to com­plete.

Trans­port Minister Rita Saf­fi­oti, who at­tended last Fri­day’s cer­e­mony, said the pro­ject would cre­ate a num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties for tourism and em­ploy­ment for the re­gion.

“The trip from Broome to the top of the penin­sula can take many hours in a car and is a par­tic­u­larly rough, dusty jour­ney,” she said.

“It will be a chal­leng­ing pro­ject but the road will be built in stages, pro­vid­ing suf­fi­cient time for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to pre­pare for the an­tic­i­pated in­crease in traf­fic and visi­tors to the area.”

The Fed­eral and State-funded pro­ject had cre­ated full-time work for 20 Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, with 20 per cent of sub­con­tract works un­der­taken by Abo­rig­i­nal busi­nesses.

The Dampier Penin­sula, well known for its tourism hotspots, is home to about 1425 peo­ple in 71 indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties.

It will be a chal­leng­ing pro­ject but the road will be built in stages. Rita Saf­fi­oti

Divers T a vern head chef Mathew Cham­bers with the venue’s fa­mous steak s a n d wich. Pic­ture: Jakeb Wad­dell Photo available at west­pix.com.au

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