Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti were joined by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel and representatives from across the Pilbara to officially announce the new name for the Karratha-Tom Price Road.
Following consultation, the road will now be called Manuwarra Red Dog Highway.
The name Manuwarra was proposed by the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation.
Manuwarra translates to ‘heaps’ or ‘masses’ and is the Yindjibarndi name for the place known as Red Dog Gorge, which is located inside the Millstream Chichester National Park.
Red Dog refers to the famous kelpie who is well known for his travels throughout the Pilbara region in the 1970s and was immortalised in the 2011 film.
The name was first flagged by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel in 2017 and has been a popular idea with the local community.
Stage 3 of the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway has recently been sealed, creating and supporting up to 100 direct and indirect local jobs.
The $81.5 million project was jointly funded by the State and Commonwealth and was one of the McGowan Government’s key election commitments.
Now complete the new road will improve access to the popular Millstream Chichester National Park and Karijini National Park, helping boost tourist traffic in the heart of the Pilbara.
Stage 4 of the sealing project is estimated to commence in 2022.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Red Dog was a unique Pilbara character and his story is well-known across Australia, if not the world.
“It is fitting this road has been named in Red Dog’s honour and I’m sure it will prove to be a great benefit and drawcard for residents and tourists alike who ‘Wander out Yonder’, and travel out to the Pilbara region.
“Having driven part of the road myself, I’m pleased that Stage 3 of the sealing of the road is now complete to provide better access and improves safety for all road users.
“It’s pleasing to complete this important road project which has a dual name and recognises the traditional land owners.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“The Manuwarra Red Dog Highway extends from Karratha to Tom Price and is a rite of passage for many travellers, particularly grey nomads.
“The sealing of 48 kilometres of road will improve safety and slash travel times for the mining and transport industry as well as tourists heading to the popular Millstream Chichester National Park and Karijini National Park.
“The project provided up to 100 direct and indirect jobs during construction and included many opportunities for local businesses.”
As stated by Lands and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
“Over the last year the State Government has worked with agencies and local governments to embrace Aboriginal names for landmarks across the State as a way of preserving and reawakening local languages.
“The name Manuwarra Red Dog Highway respects both the traditional owners of this land and the history of this iconic area.”
As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:
“When we first raised the idea of re-naming Karratha-Tom Price Road there was a lot of excitement in the local community.
“I’m pleased we have secured a dual name that recognises the traditional custodians of the land as well as Red Dog, a Pilbara icon.
“The sealing of Stage 3 of this road was one of my key election commitments and I’m pleased to have delivered on this.”