Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt were on site today to inspect the upgrade of Bidyadanga Road and Bidyadanga Airstrip firsthand.
They also met with the project team and members of the local community who assisted in delivering this important project.
The completion of sealing works on the local community road and airstrip has resulted in all-weather access to critical medical services in WA’s largest Aboriginal community, Bidyadanga.
Almost six kilometres of Bidyadanga Road were upgraded as part of the works, which included construction of an adjacent parking bay and sealing of the local airstrip and access road.
The upgrades mean that the 750-strong community, which is home to the Karajarri, Juwalinny, Mangala, Nyungamarta and Yulpartja language groups, will now have regular access to medical services.
A partnership between Main Roads Western Australia and Kullarri Regional Communities Incorporated (KRCI) provided employment and training for 25 Aboriginal people from the Bidyadanga community and surrounds during construction.
Experience gained on the Bidyadanga project will provide them with the opportunity to secure jobs on future projects within the region.
The $4 million project was opened in late December 2018 ahead of the Kimberley wet season, with the plaque officially unveiled at the community today with the Ministers.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“The McGowan Government has delivered on its commitment to seal the final 5.5 kilometres of the Bidyadanga Road and Airstrip, ensuring the community has access to medical care all year round, regardless of the weather.
“This means more frequent and reliable health clinic visits, access to primary care workers and medical evacuations.
“Another great outcome has been the employment and training for local residents – a model that we are now replicating in other projects across regional WA.”
As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
“The strong relationships built between Main Roads, the Bidyadanga Community, the Karajarri native title holders and KRCI will provide opportunities for local people to access future jobs and training within the Kimberley region.
“This project achieved 70 per cent of its contract value towards registered Aboriginal businesses. This equated to 25 Aboriginal jobs – 12 of which were from the Bidyadanga community itself.”