Kimberley connection open in time for wet season

Media Release

DC203/2016

30 November 2016

Joint release with:

Nicole Manison

NT Deputy Chief Minister
NT Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics

Nigel Scullion

Senator for the Northern Territory

  • Improved flood resilience for only sealed connection between the NT and WA
  • Victoria Highway's Saddle Creek Bridge raised to a 1-in-50-year flood level

A critical section of the national network between the Northern Territory and Western Australia is now flood-proofed to a 1-in-50 year standard, with the roadway and two bridges over Saddle Creek on the Victoria Highway raised just in time for the wet season.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said raising the roadway to two metres would help keep local communities connected and industries moving during the wet.

“This is the only sealed road connecting the Northern Territory with the Kimberley region of Western Australia, so improving the flood immunity of the two bridges over Saddle Creek Bridge as well as their approaches is an important part of keeping people connected during the wet season,” Mr Chester said.

Senator for the Northern Territory Nigel Scullion said a range of industries would benefit from the raising of the road and bridges.

“Historically, the crossing at Saddle Creek had to close due to flooding three to four times a year, for hours on end. This project delivers a more reliable, safer highway for residents of the region as well as the pastoral, mining, tourism and freight industries that rely on this interstate connection,” Senator Scullion said.

Northern Territory Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Nicole Manison said the upgrade would reduce the risk of closures from this year's early start to the wet season.

“In addition to the economic benefits of keeping this section of the highway open after heavy rains, the project also employed 21 people, three of whom are Indigenous,” Ms Manison said.

The project was funded as part of the Australian Government's $77 million Northern Territory Roads Package, which aims to improve the flood immunity, road safety and productivity on the Northern Territory's land transport network.