A stretch of unsealed road connecting the East Kimberley to the Northern Territory is set to be upgraded, as the McGowan Government invests $18.3 million to seal the major transport infrastructure route.
Moonamang Road is a vital link between Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and the upgrade will provide the transport infrastructure needed to supercharge agricultural growth in the Ord.
The capital works project will support the local economy and deliver local outcomes in line with the WA Recovery Plan, recognising the impact of the pandemic on the East Kimberley economy.
The project includes a realignment to support the proposed Knox Plain development of Ord Stage 2 and allow for the expansion of cotton production in the East Kimberley.
Sealing the road will also have benefits for the Project Sea Dragon black tiger prawn aquaculture project, a local lead and silver mine, onshore gas exploration and the expansion at Legune Station.
The project will seal 7.5km of the Moonamang Road through to the border and is expected to significantly improve accessibility for the local community and businesses that rely on the road for transport during the wet season.
The upgraded road will also provide all-year access for traditional owners to Miriuwung-Gajerrong Traditional Lands and provide more opportunities for 'on country' cultural practices.
Construction is set to create more jobs for locals and help support the economy in the East Kimberley, which has been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
The work will take place during the next two dry seasons, and contractors, materials and equipment will be sourced from the region where possible.
“This Government is committed to providing more economic opportunities for the East Kimberley, which is struggling with the impacts of COVID-19,” said Premier, Mark McGowan.
“This major infrastructure project will not only create jobs, but also improve accessibility for local industry, including aquaculture, agriculture and mining, in the region.
“It will create a pipeline of jobs, and improve transport safety in the region, which also benefits local tourism and into the future will support our efforts in attracting tourism opportunities to WA – when we're able to.”
Regional Development Minister, Alannah MacTiernan, said this road is one of several initiatives to support the emerging cotton industry and the establishment of cotton processing in the state's north.