$104.9 million invested into WA’s flood-prone roads

A $104.9 million investment from the federal and state governments will see Western Australia's Kimberley region roads more resilient to flooding

Jointly funded through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), the Infrastructure Betterment Program has received $104.9 million in funding.

The first of its kind in Western Australia, the program aims to rebuild essential public road infrastructure damaged by January’s record-breaking flooding following ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie.

The rebuild will ensure the roads are stronger, and more resilient to better withstand future natural disasters.

The new Fitzroy River Bridge was the first completed project under the program, with upgrades to damaged sections of the Great Northern Highway and Gibb River Road also underway.

The program will also support the betterment of impacted local government road networks to safeguard against future natural hazards.

“In less than 12 months since the devastating flooding event cut off communities, this betterment program is already seeing essential road infrastructure built back stronger and more resilient,” says federal emergency management minister Murray Watt.

“The program is about helping to improve the public road network and other critical assets so communities aren’t impacted as severely when more frequent weather events strike.”

Betterment works will decrease the repetitious damage to flood-prone essential public assets and lower future reconstruction costs, saving money for all levels of government and alleviating disruption to the community in the long term.

Works undertaken through the Infrastructure Betterment Program will complement the estimated $450 million repair and rebuild works underway on flood-damaged roads and bridges – also jointly funded by both governments.

WA premier Roger Cook says he is grateful for the support from the current government.

“Our Kimberley road network is vital for freight, transport and tourism, and this funding will help future proof this critical infrastructure for generations to come,” he says.

“Importantly, a significant portion of the works to build back better will be completed by local workers and businesses.”

Federal transport minister Catherine King says the project would not have been possible without the coming together of both governments.

“I welcome this Australian Government commitment to deliver upgrades like these to improve flood resilience, reliability and capacity for roads and bridges in the Kimberley region,” says King.

“This program is just another example of what can be achieved when federal and state governments work together to improve dependability and safety for all road users and I’m pleased to see upgrades from this program already in use.”

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