The more than $65 million Broome Cape Leveque Road project in Western Australia’s Kimberley region is now complete and has been a great success with almost 200 Aboriginal people employed across the construction life of the project.
The project has seen unprecedented participation rates of Aboriginal employment, with 54 per cent of all hours worked on the project delivered by Aboriginal people. Of those hours, 85 per cent were completed by local people from Broome and the Dampier Peninsula.
A staged construction program is effective in delivering economic and social benefits, while achieving genuine increased capacity within Aboriginal communities and businesses in the Kimberley region.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project was part of the Australian Government’s commitment to regional Western Australia.
“We have worked to fund another two projects along the Dampier Peninsula, which will create more employment and training opportunities,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The Australian Government is committed to creating opportunities and delivering for regional Western Australia.”
Western Australian Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said the McGowan Government was focused on providing tangible employment outcomes on all transport infrastructure projects.
“I am so proud of the local employment and training opportunities this project has delivered for local Aboriginal people in the Kimberley,” Ms Saffioti said.
“Not only has this provided opportunities for local workers and businesses, but the sealing of this last 90 kilometres of road will provide many economic, tourism and social benefits for years to come.
“I look forward to seeing workers return to site in April to get started on the next elements of this project.”
Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said it has been a pleasure to watch works on this project unfold.
“I fought hard to get the substantial $52 million of Federal Government funding for this project because it will be a boon for tourism and it is important that local communities have an all-weather, all year access road,” Ms Price said.
“It’s been fantastic to be a part of a project providing employment and training opportunities for local people who live along the Dampier Peninsula and the broader Kimberley region.
“The Broome Cape Leveque Road project is a great example of a collaborative approach between Australian and State Governments and a number of government agencies, working together to achieve positive outcomes for local communities.
“Communities will benefit from having a skilled and accessible workforce on-hand that understands the unique challenges of the Kimberley region.”
State Member for the Kimberley Josie Farrer said she was proud to belong to a State Government committed to delivering outcomes for Aboriginal people.
“The on-the-job training programs have created a local workforce equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience to undertake road construction and maintenance activities long into the future,”
Ms Farrer said.
“The opportunities that have been available for the local community to be part of Main Roads’ work in the Kimberley are impressive and will continue on other projects in the future.”
Partnerships were also established with two local Aboriginal employment and training organisations – Kullarri Regional Communities Indigenous Corporation and Nirrumbuk – to build and enhance a local skilled workforce.
These organisations actively trained people from Broome and the Dampier Peninsula in preparation for the project, providing labourers and traffic controllers. Plant equipment operators were also provided by these organisations to plant equipment sub-contractors.
The project has seen the last 90 kilometres of red dirt on the Broome Cape Leveque Road sealed. It will improve safety and access for local communities, by providing all weather access to the Dampier Peninsula while also creating economic, social and tourism benefits.
With Broome Cape Leveque Road fully sealed, the road crews will now take a well-earned break over the wet season, returning to work in April to reconstruct the old narrow seal in the first 13.6 kilometres of the road and make upgrades to the intersection at Broome Highway.
Funding has also recently been allocated to sealing the Kooljaman Resort Access Road at Cape Leveque and Trochus Hatchery Access Road at Ardyaloon, with the project commencing in the middle of next year. This additional $20 million of works were recently funded by the Australian ($15 million) and Western Australian ($5 million) Governments.
The Broome Cape Leveque Road project was jointly funded by the Australian Government contributing $52.53 million and the Western Australian Government contributing $13.13 million.