New multimillion-dollar program to build Kimberley resilience

  • Major funding package to boost resilience of Kimberley region
  • New investment to upgrade ports, airports, and road infrastructure
  • Kimberley region impacted by catastrophic floods in 2022 and 2023
  • Program comes on top of the of Fitzroy River Bridge replacement project

The Cook Labor Government has launched a major new resilience program for the Kimberley region, which has been impacted by a number of catastrophic weather events in recent years.

The Kimberley Resilience Program will include an initial $67.5 million investment into a range of initiatives and projects that will boost supply chains and support the region to better respond to emergencies when they occur.

Among the initial measures being delivered through the program are:

  • new infrastructure at the Port of Broome to build greater import capabilities ($6million);
  • upgrades to airstrips through the Aboriginal Community Airstrip Renewal Program ($8 million); and
  • replacement of the single-lane Brooking Channel Bridge with a dual lane crossing ($53.5 million State Government contribution).

Improving infrastructure at the Port of Broome will support both the development of the port as a first point of entry (FPOE) and import capacity in times of emergency.

The initial $8 million investment in the Aboriginal Community Airstrip Renewal Program comes on top of a $750,000 investment in the last State Budget to undertake climate change adaptation planning on 34 airstrips in remote communities. The initial funding will be allocated based on the outcomes of the planning work, targeting airstrips of highest priority.

Replacing the Brooking Channel Bridge with a dual lane bridge will add to the supply chain resilience of the region, enhance road safety, and provide ongoing employment opportunities in the Fitzroy Valley region, following the success of the Fitzroy River Bridge replacement project.

The major package comes on top of other projects currently being delivered and recently completed including:

  • the replacement of the Fitzroy River Bridge ($250 million);
  • the replacement of three single-lane bridges on the Great Northern Highway at Arthur Creek, Tickalara Creek and Frog Hollow Creek ($33 million joint Federal and State Government investment);
  • sealing 313 kilometres of the Tanami Road ($542.7 million joint Federal and State Government investment); and
  • sealing the runway at Warmun airstrip ($5 million).

Further initiatives are being considered and may be included in the Kimberley Resilience Program at a later date, with the State Government engaging closely with the Federal Government on potential funding arrangements.

As stated by Premier Roger Cook:

“The Kimberley will always be prone to flooding and cyclones, so it’s vital that we put the region in the best possible position to bounce back from natural disasters if and when they occur.

“Our new Kimberley Resilience Program is an important part of my Government’s commitment to always do what’s right for the region.

“Helping Broome to become a first port of entry will significantly reduce the Kimberley’s reliance on the road network, while opening up new trade opportunities for the State’s north.”

As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

“We’ve seen how devastating extreme weather events can be in the Kimberley region, and this program is about ensuring the region can better respond to emergencies when they arise and ensure supply chains are as resilient as possible.

“We are targeting investments in key areas of the supply chains including at the ports, airports and roads.

“The initiatives we have announced today are just the start – we are looking at a range of other measures to further boost the resilience of the region.”

As stated by Ports Minister David Michael:

“The $6 million Budget allocation highlights the Cook Government’s commitment to continue work with the Federal Government to secure expanded FPOE status for the Port of Broome.

“FPOE status would allow more cargo to be directly imported into Broome’s port, supporting local projects and industries to bring in essential materials cost effectively.

“The Kimberley Ports Authority will now work with Australian Border Force and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on the design and development of essential security and biosecurity infrastructure and a resourcing plan to facilitate international vessels and cargo arriving in Broome.”

As stated by Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna:

“This is an important announcement that shows the high priority the Kimberley region holds for the Cook Labor Government.

“As Kimberley locals, we know how bad the impact from severe weather can be, which is why we must continue investing in initiatives that boost resilience.”

/Public Release. View in full here.