Project development is underway for the final 110 km link (Stage 4), including:
- Traditional Owner heritage surveys
- Highway alignment definition
- Optimisation of sustainable outcomes
- Construction material usage
Commonwealth and State environment approvals have been received. The Yindjibarndi and Wintawari Guruma people hold non-exclusive native title rights over the majority of the land required for Stage 4. Main Roads has agreed to enter into Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA) to allow the construction of Stage 4.
Construction is scheduled to commence in mid-2024 and will be undertaken over several years to enable facilitated engagement with the Native Title holders.
The northern 10 km section of Stage 4 is not subject to native title. Contract negotiations have commenced to deliver the work
Stakeholder feedback will continue to be gathered on a number of areas to inform design:
- Stakeholder led innovations
- Environmental offsets
- Mitigation of environmental impacts
- Potential social offsets and win-win outcomes
- Opportunities for local people/businesses and Traditional Owners
- Input into construction delivery
- Directional signage and branding
- Water sources
- Industry collaboration
- Material supply
- Defining 'Pilbara Proof'
- Alignment definition
- Roadside amenities
- Highway access points off and over roads
- Avoidance of Traditional Owner heritage sites
A number of key decisions have been influenced by stakeholder feedback including:
- Agreement on the highway Interface with the FMG rail bridge (Eliwana Arch)
- Wintawari Guruma representatives input into the corridor selected near Hamersley Homestead
- Safety and technical recommendations for the highway to remain on the western side of the existing rail line
- Freight industry preference to accommodate RAV10 vehicles
- Community feedback on the naming of the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway
We are committed to engaging with stakeholders to ensure their input is considered during the design, whilst providing value-for-money outcomes.
We will engage with the wider communities of Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Roebourne and Karratha to ensure the project leaves a positive legacy to the Pilbara. Timely communications and ongoing liaison will continue throughout the life of the project.
A Public Sustainability Report has been developed for the project during the development phase.
Our Sustainability Management Plan sets the vision and objectives for the project. It also guides us with the governance and processes to manage and deliver on sustainability during planning.
Key outcomes of this phase will include maximising environmental, social and cultural opportunities, sustainable use of recycled materials and existing infrastructure, optimising land use and providing a resilient 'Pilbara Proof' asset. To achieve these outcomes, we continue to work with stakeholders with a focus on:
- Environmental Legacy
- Social Legacy
- Safety in Design and
- Resource Efficiency
Minimising the environmental footprint
A Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment to identify any environmental factors that may impact the alignment is complete.
As part of the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) assessment, we have completed vegetation, flora and fauna surveys. These help to determine what we can do to avoid or minimise environmental impacts.
Incorporating and managing cultural heritage
The final link is located within Yindjibarndi and Eastern Guruma country, with many areas of great significance to local Traditional Owners, including Hamersley Range, Fortescue River, Weelumurra Creek and Hamersley Homestead.
Working with Yindjibarndi and Wintawari Guruma representative groups, we are aiming for a positive and respectful relationship, by understanding cultural and social implications of the project.
Heritage surveys are being organised to identify cultural and heritage sites to inform the road alignment design to avoid or minimise impacts.
Environmental Review Document
- Part IV Approval under the EP Act
Main Roads referred Stages 2, 3 and 4 of the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway (the Original Proposal) to the EPA, which was assessed and approved under Ministerial Statement 677 in 2005. During construction of Stage 3 of the project, Main Roads became aware that the Original Proposal’s authorised Disturbance Footprint was insufficient to complete Stage 4.
In November 2020, Main Roads referred the Revised Proposal, based on conditional approval granted by Ministerial Statement 677, to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for assessment under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act, for Stage 4. The EPA determined that the Revised Proposal be assessed at the level of Referral Information with Additional Information.
The Additional Information for MRDH was released for community review and comment during August 2022. Main Roads then provided a response to the EPA for the community comments received during this period.
The EPA released its Report and Recommendations in February 2023. No appeals were received. Visit the EPA website to view the report.
- EPBC Act Approval
In July 2020, Main Roads referred the project to DCCEEW for a decision on the need for assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act).
The proposed action was determined to be a controlled action under the EPBC Act and was assessed through Preliminary Documentation, pursuant to Section 95A(3) of the EPBC Act. In accordance with Section 95A(3) of the EPBC Act, Preliminary Documentation related to the proposed action was made publicly available for viewing and comment.
On 24 January 2023, DCCEEW provided conditional environmental approval (EPBC 2020-8725). For further information, visit the EPBC Act Public Portal.
- Improve access to Millstream Chichester National Park and Karijini National Park, helping boost tourist traffic in the heart of the Pilbara
- Travel time saving of over two and a half hours compared to the alternative sealed route
- Improved connectivity between Karratha, Roebourne, Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Newman
- Improved safety
- Better access to hospitals and medical services, local businesses, shopping and service centres
- Reduced maintenance and travel costs
- Improved regional tourism opportunities
- More reliable journeys by reducing road closures, particularly during wet season
Project and construction updates
- Fact Sheet - Sustainability Targets - Word document (481 KB)
- Project Update - September 2020 - PDF (736 KB)
- Stage 3 Project Update - April 2020- PDF (832 KB)
- Stage 3 Project Update - November 2019 - PDF (695 KB)
- Third stage of upgrades to Manuwarra Red Dog Highway now complete - 2 September 2020
- Karratha-Tom Price Road officially named Manuwarra Red Dog Highway - 2 September 2020