Image courtesy ABC Far North
The remote far north Queensland community of Pormpuraaw will no longer be cut off during the wet season after the completion of upgrade works on the only access road into the community.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the project had been funded under the $260.5 million Cape York region Package (CYRP), and involved elevating Strathgordon Road and the installation of concrete floodways and culverts.
“This project was one of several which will share in more than $50 million under the CYRP for priority Community Infrastructure works identified by community leaders and councils,” Mr Chester said
“Strathgordon Road is a vital lifeline for the Pormpuraaw community and this upgrade means residents can travel to and from other centres for supplies and community events, irrespective of the weather.”
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said the community had also benefitted from the employment opportunities created by the project.
“The Pormpuraaw work crew were key to the project’s success, with five out of the 11 being Indigenous or local. More people in work and more people gaining skills, experience and qualifications has an uplifting effect on any community, but especially remote communities like Pormpuraaw,” Mr Entsch said.
“Projects like this under the CYRP also have the ability to mobilise a community and provide real tangible benefits in terms of social development.”
Queensland Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey said momentum on CYRP projects would continue with Community Infrastructure works at Aurukun, Napranum and Mapoon already underway.
“These works are helping to improve access to the region for freight, tourists and other road users, as well as improve safety and community infrastructure,” Mr Bailey said.
“The CYRP Community Infrastructure works are expected to support over 60 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the programme, which means real ongoing benefits for the people of Cape York.”
Ralph Kendall Snr, who was born in Pormpuraaw, has been a part of the roadwork team every dry season since 1995.
“I remember when the access road into Pormpuraaw was a two-wheeled track. To see it upgraded and be part of the construction process gives me something to be proud of,” Mr Kendall said.
“I like working for the community, it means I can be a good role model for my children and support my family.”
The $260.5 million Cape York Region Package is being funded by the Australian Government committing $208.4 million and the Queensland Government committing $52.1 million.