Cape Leveque Road Delivers Economic Opportunity for Communities
There have been recent media reports outlining the potential for a ‘paradise lost’ as a result of sealing Cape Leveque Road, unlocking the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley Region to an onslaught of tourists (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-21/calls-for-toll-road-to-protect-dampier-peninsula/11125078).
The State and Federal Government have committed funding to seal the remaining 90km odd of the 220km road linking Broome to remote communities of Beagle Bay, Djarindjin, Lombadina and Ardyaloon. The project will connect the approximately 1,100 residents, 86% which are Aboriginal People to Broome, improving access to health, education and other important civic services year round. It will also make access to basic necessities far more affordable in a location where the median household income is just $821 compared to the State average of $1,595.
The sealing of the road will bring an increase in visitation, modelled to be 40% or more. This also brings opportunities for increased economic and employment prosperity of the Dampier Peninsula communities, where unemployment sits at 15.8% compared to the WA State Average of just 7.8%.
Visitation from travellers creates an opportunity to expand the areas fledgling Aboriginal tourism industry, an industry where 78% of visitors to Western Australia are looking to experience, but only 21% of visitors get to. The benefit of growing this industry can have a greater local economic impact on regional communities. As an example, in the Pilbara $100 of tourism expenditure spent at local retail shop produces a flow-on benefit of $89, while the same $100 from iron ore mining produces only $18 of spending in the local economy
Our project management, economics and town planning team is working on projects linked to the Cape Leveque road sealing to ensure that increased visitation can be managed through improved capacity in the right locations, supported by the Aboriginal People who call the Dampier Peninsula home. This includes objective project feasibility, town planning, bushfire and environmental analysis alongside community led decision making.
Sealed access to Cape Leveque is coming. We look forward to a positive engagement which focuses on delivering the best o social, environmental and economic outcomes for the predominantly Aboriginal communities of the Dampier Peninsula. We also look forward to a less damage to our own vehicles when we journey that way too!!