$8 million boost for ATSI transport infrastructure

The Palaszczuk Government has announced 14 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island (ATSI) communities are the latest recipients of its annual Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme(TIDS) program.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said councils including Aurukun, Burke, Cook, Doomadgee, Lockhart River and Pormpuraaw would share in more than $8 million to build and upgrade local roads and transport infrastructure.

“We’re proud to support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through programs likes our annual TIDS initiative and projects including the $276 million Cape York Region Package and Local Fares Scheme,” Mr Bailey said.

“Not only will this year’s funding allocation help our ATSI councils upgrade roads and drive safety, it will also support local jobs, adding to the 21,500 generated through our $23 billion, four-year roads program for Queensland.

“We want all Queenslanders to have better access to jobs and vital services like health and education. This program is about building the roads and transport infrastructure some of our most remote communities need to access services and employment opportunities.”

Minister Bailey said funding included:

  • $1.5 million for Cook Shire Council to help pave and seal 3km of Aurukun Access Road
  • $1.38 million to Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council to carry out vital flood mitigation works along Strathgordon Road
  • $750,000 for Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council to upgrade pavement and stormwater infrastructure at the Northern Peninsula Area Airport
  • $600,000 for Torres Strait Island Council for the Erub Island Airport Road upgrade
  • $569,000 for Aurukun Shire Council to replace culverts on Aurukun Access Road
  • $520,000 allocation to Lockhart River Aboriginal Shire Council for flood mitigation along Lockhart River Access Road
  • $298,000 to Burke Shire Council to help pave Domadgee East Road
  • $261,000 to Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council for new street lighting at Thiele Street, Muni Street and the school car park
  • $130,000 for Torres Strait Island Regional Council for a channel dredging study to improve access to the five island communities

Aurukun Shire Council Chief Executive Officer Bernie McCarthy welcomed the funding.

“Aurukun Shire Council is most grateful for the $569,000 TIDS commitment to the upgrade of the culverts at Boundary Creek on the Aurukun Access Road,” Mr McCarthy said.

“These works will improve the flood immunity of this road.

“In conjunction with future upgrading works on the unsealed sections of the road, access will continue to be improved from the remote and isolated community of Aurukun, particularly during the wet season.

“These diminishing periods of non-access to Weipa will continue to benefit the lifestyle of Aurukun residents.”

In the Northern Peninsula Area, Mayor Eddie Newman and his council said the Queensland Government’s financial assistance would improve access for the community.

“Northern Peninsula Airport is the only air link access servicing five remote Indigenous communities in Cape York,” Cr Newman said.

“The airport provides essential year round access to health and educational services in regional areas, as well as Royal Flying Doctor access for emergency medical cases.

“The State Government’s ATSI/TIDS funds will assist the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council in maintaining amenity, access, and increased aircraft safety for these Cape York communities.

“The Northern Peninsula Airport runway pavement is subject to saturation damage from rising ground water during the wet season. Pavement rutting, and failed pavement areas result, which is a significant aircraft safety hazard.

“The ATSI/TIDS funding allocation will increase passenger and aircraft operator safety by rehabilitating runway pavement and drainage.”

Hope Vale Acting Mayor June Pearson welcomed the funding from the State Government and said the street lighting upgrade would significantly improve safety for resident, visitors and tourists travelling at night.

“The lighting along Hope Vale’s primary traffic route is very poor which has resulted in the increased risk of accident for both drivers on the road and pedestrians using the adjacent footpaths,” Cr Pearson said.

“I am delighted that the Queensland Government has delivered a solution to this issue that will greatly benefit both residents and visitors of Hope Vale.”

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