Purnululu National Park Creating Jobs and Supporting Tourism by Improving Roads: outcomes

Benefits of project

The project contains an Indigenous employment component.

Improved access to the National Park will allow more visitors, supporting and increasing long-term tourism to the area.

Purnululu Jobs Fund story

Despite dealing with the after-effects of the worst fires in the area since the Purnululu National Park was established, local employees and contractors still managed to complete extensive upgrades to access roads in the park in late 2009.

Purnululu National Park in Western Australia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2003 for its outstanding universal natural heritage values. Characterised by the strikingly beautiful landscapes of the Kimberley and Purnululu, (also referred to as the Bungle Bungles), the park has become increasingly popular with visitors from Australia and overseas.

"Due to its location in a remote part of Western Australia, it's important that we make peoples' access to the park as easy as possible," Parks and Visitors Services Leader, Kimberley Region, Ben Tannock said.

"One way we can do that is by making sure the road network is good."

Thanks to $764,430 from the heritage component of the Australian Government's Jobs Fund, workers from the area have installed large culvert pipes and floodways; and resurfaced six kilometres of road surface.

Significant upgrades to the two main crossings in the Park - Grevillea Creek and Edwards Creek - were greatly needed.

"These roads suffer from extensive erosion and scouring during the wet season and require a lot of earth moving equipment and road works to get them up to scratch at the start of each year.

"The work we have conducted as part of the Jobs Fund has really underpinned these crossings, making access in the Park safer and easier.

"There will still be maintenance works required each year but not the extensive work we have needed in the past," he said.

In addition, the purchase of fuel and other material, and the provision of local services all provided important economic stimulus in the region.

This project also employed local Indigenous people to undertake construction work, giving them the opportunity to be employed whilst being able to work On Country.

"There were 14 people employed on the project, including some from the south west of the state," Ben said.

"In terms of paid employment there was a total of 1410 hours of paid skilled employment, 489 hours of paid training employment and 100 hours of professional or administrative employment, bringing the total to 2000 hours, or 250 days worth of local employment."