Broome Cape Leveque Road Notice

 

Project overview

The Broome Cape Leveque Road is a local government road, under the care and control of the Shire of Broome and provides the main transport link through the Dampier Peninsula.

The aim of the project is to undertake road improvements to improve safety, accessibility and operational efficiencies in the area.

We are managing the upgrading project on behalf of the Shire of Broome.

 

Background

The road allows vehicle access to:

  • Major Aboriginal communities of Beagle Bay, Lombadina, Djarindjin and Ardyaloon (One Arm Point) with a combined population estimated to be around 1200 people;
  • Numerous smaller Aboriginal communities;
  • Pastoral stations;
  • Emergency and service authorities;
  • Pearling industries; and
  • Tourist destinations

The standard of the unsealed sections of the Broome Cape Leveque Road has gradually deteriorated over the years, with large lengths of the road becoming depressed below the natural surface. This has resulted in the gradual reduction in road width making it necessary for vehicles to negotiate steep banks in order to pass one another. Other sections are corrugated or have numerous sand holes making the road hazardous for drivers.

  ​     Image: Cape Leveque.JPG        ​Image: Cape Leveque.JPG 
     Image: Cape Leveque.JPG    ​      Image: Cape Leveque.JPG

 

Needs and benefits

The Dampier Peninsula supports a wide range of economic activities in tourism, pearling and farming and these activities are expanding every year.

The upgrade of the Broome Cape Leveque Road has been identified as a priority in the Dampier Peninsula Planning Strategy (April 2015) produced by the Western Australian Planning Commission.

Broome Cape Leveque Road was identified in the Northern Australia Infrastructure Audit as a Tourist road requiring upgrade. The audit identifies the significant influx of tourists to the town of Broome during the months of June to October resulting in a tripling of the population from 13,000 to around 40,000 people.

In a Business Case prepared by the Shire of Broome in 2000, the major stakeholders including Shire of Broome, State Government, Aboriginal Communities, operators of tourism, freight operators and other government agencies are extremely concerned by the continuing lack of services, facilities and economic development opportunities caused by a poor transport system for the Dampier Peninsula between Broome and extending approximately 200km northwards.

Due to the isolation of Broome Cape Leveque Road, road users have limited alternative routes. The road is relied on by Pastoral Stations and Local Communities to supply essential resources and personal. Without an alternative route the road suffers closures during the wet season and requires significant maintenance following large inundation events.

There is considerable discontent amongst stakeholders about the poor condition of Broome Cape Leveque Road. They consider the current road transport system inadequate and inferior compared with other communities and road elsewhere.

Without intervention the isolation of local communities will continue and growth of agricultural opportunities will be limited.

Major benefits and outcomes identified for the proposed works are:

  • Reduced commercial transport costs
  • Reduced delays caused by road closures due to flooding
  • Improved access for aboriginal communities
  • Improved traffic safety and reduced vehicle accidents.
  • Increased tourism 

 

Project scope

The project will involve:

  • construction and bitumen sealing of the unsealed sections of the road;
  • the reconstruction of existing narrowed sealed section (approx. 13 km long) near Broome Road; and
  • the upgrading of the intersection at Broome Road.

It is proposed to construct the new sealed road adjacent to the existing unsealed alignment where feasible.

The works include alignment/geometric improvements, drainage improvements and the installation of culverts, fauna underpasses and floodways. 

Image: Broome Cape Leveque Road Map - small.PNG 

Image: Map of Broome Cape Leveque Road Upgrade Project

 

Current status

Upgrade works on the 202 kilometre road commenced in 2002 and approximately 100 kilometres between Beagle Bay and Ardyaloon have been upgraded in stages since that time.

Stage 1 and 2 (102.6 km to 2015 km) Sealing completed 2002-2007

Stage 3 (12.5 -102.6 km) Works have not commenced (Currently Unsealed – new construction)

Stage 4 (0.0 – 12.5 km) Works have not commenced (Narrow sealed section - reconstruction)

There remains approximately 90 kilometres of new construction to be completed (SLK 12.7-102.6). It is intended to commence the next stage of construction beginning at the northern extent of existing unsealed road and work back towards Broome.

Detailed planning is completed however key pre-construction works relate to the environmental and heritage issues are still outstanding.
Aboriginal heritage clearances Stage 3 were granted in June 2012, whilst heritage clearances for Stage 4 are outstanding.

Commonwealth (EPBC 2013/6984) and State (CPS 6079/1) environmental approvals for road upgrade works (Section 25.0km -102.6km) have been granted. Environmental approvals for the section 00-25.0km are still outstanding.

We will progress development activities, including final design, on the remaining unsealed section of road in 2016-17.

Once funding is provided, it will take 6 months to fulfil the environmental conditions before works may commence on the northern sections.
The anticipated cost to complete the construction and sealing of the remaining section of unsealed road is estimated at $65 million.

There is currently no funding allocated towards the construction and sealing works in the 2016/17 budget and 5 Year Forward estimates and there is currently no timeline for these upgrading works. Funding for the upgrading of the Broome Cape Leveque Road will be considered by Government in future budget deliberations.

 

Heritage

We are committed to avoiding or mitigating direct impacts to Aboriginal Heritage that may occur during the construction of the road.

We have worked closely with the Kimberley Land Council (KLC) and Traditional Owners to ensure works do not impact on heritage sites. The KLC delegated EHSIS (Environmental, Heritage and Social Impact Services) to manage the Aboriginal Heritage Surveys required for the project.

Heritage surveys for the project were carried out in three segments:

  • The section 12.7 km – 65 km was addressed by the Jabirr Jabirr Native Title Claim Group
  • The section 65 km -102.6 km was addressed by the Nyul Nyul and Djabera Djabera Native Title Claim Groups
  • The proposed gravel pit at Banana Wells was addressed by the Nyul Nyul Native Title Claim Group

Clearance for the project was given by the Groups subject to a number of conditions, including:

  • Employing Aboriginal people from the Groups as monitors during ground disturbance activities
  • Retaining small areas of the existing road as strategic layovers
  • The involvement of Aboriginal people from the Groups during revegetation works
  • Improved signage on access to Aboriginal Lands (permitting)
  • Cultural awareness training for all employees and contractors working on the project during construction

We will continue to work with the local Aboriginal communities to meet their requirements and maximize their involvement in the construction of the new road.

 

Environment

Following the construction of Stage 1 and Stage 2, and with increased interest in the environment impact of projects on the Dampier Peninsula, it was decided in 2010 to reassess the impact of the project, which required further surveys and studies.

The James Price Point Access Road (which incorporated Broome Cape Leveque Road, section 0.0-25km) was assessed as a separate project but not completed when work on that project was stopped. We are currently in the process of seeking Environmental Approvals for that section of road between 0-25 km.

The environmental impact assessments completed for Stage 3 (25.0-102.6 km only) indicated that there was a potential impact on threatened fauna (primarily the Greater Bilby).

Stage 3 of the project (25.0-102.6 km only) was referred to the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority, but was determined to be ‘Not Assessed – managed under Part V Division 2’ of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) in November 2013.

Subsequently, we applied for and were granted a Clearing Permit from the Western Australian Department of Environment Regulation (CPS 6078/1) in 2015.

The potential impact on threatened fauna (primarily the Greater Bilby) also triggered referral of the project to the Federal Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Stage 3 of the project (25.0-102.6 km only) was subsequently assessed by the Federal Government at the Preliminary Documentation level. Approval under the Federal EPBC Act (EPBC 2013/6984) was granted in 2013.

Both the Federal and State approvals required us to implement a number of conditions including (but not limited to):

  • Preparing and implementing a Greater Bilby Management Plan which identifies sections of the alignment with high concentrations of Bilby Activity
  • Preparing and implementing a Roadkill Monitoring and Adaptive Management Plan which details a monitoring programs aimed at assessing the impact of the road on local Bilby populations and adapting management if necessary
  • Developing a Greater Bilby Induction Training and Awareness Program for all employees and contractors during construction of the road
  • Engaging a qualified ecologist to trap and relocate as many Greater Bilby individuals as possible ahead of clearing
  • Design features aimed at reducing impacts to the species (coloured pavement in certain areas, signage, fauna underpasses/modified culverts and audible rumble strips)
  • Establishing a detailed Environmental Offset program in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife aimed at increasing our understanding of the species’ area of occupancy, as well as identifying key threats).
  • Abiding by the outcome of a Threat Management Plan produced for the Greater Bilby as a deliverable of the Offset Program.
  • Revegetating areas of temporary disturbance as well as areas of the old alignment not required to support the new road.

Further information on the commitments that we have made to mitigate and manage impacts on the Greater Bilby to satisfy provisions of the EPBC Act can be found on the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website.

 

Further information​

We welcome feedback and enquiries from the community. Please email enquiries@mainroads.wa.gov.au

 

Modified: 12 Oct 2017