- $16.3 million for essential regional transport infrastructure
- Upgrade to support major aquaculture project and Ord irrigation area
- Made possible by State Government's Royalties for Regions
The State Government today announced its commitment to the expansion of a major infrastructure route in the Kimberley, thanks to a $16.3 million investment through Royalties for Regions.
The Moonamang Road upgrade project will provide the transport infrastructure required to support the development of the proposed Project Sea Dragon aquaculture development, as well as facilitating the expansion of the Ord irrigated agriculture development.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said this Royalties for Regions investment was evidence of the State Government's commitment to growth and business productivity in the agriculture and food sector, increasingly key to Western Australia's economy and regional development.
"Volatility in the energy and natural resources sector means that it is imperative to support the State's agriculture and food sector to successfully compete in global markets," Mr Redman said.
"Aquaculture has great potential for growth, with growing global demand and increasing pressure on wild catch numbers. Project Sea Dragon is an emerging large growth opportunity for northern Australia and Kununurra in particular.
"This road upgrade builds on the State and Commonwealth governments' investment in the Ord East Kimberley Development Package and the Ord Irrigation Expansion Project."
State Development Minister Bill Marmion said Project Sea Dragon proposed to produce black tiger prawns for export, in a large-scale, staged project split across the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
"Project Sea Dragon's processing and export facilities will be located in Western Australia, helping to diversify the Kimberley economy by providing year-round commercial activity and employment," Mr Marmion said.
"At full operation, Project Sea Dragon is expected to create 700 permanent jobs in WA as well as significant contracting opportunities for local businesses."
This Royalties for Regions project will seal Moonamang Road through to the Northern Territory border, to link prawn supply from Project Sea Dragon's grow out ponds on Legune Station in the Northern Territory to processing facilities in Kununurra, subject to a final investment decision by the project proponent, Seafarms Group.
Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the Western Australian Government recognised the agriculture and food sector as a key growth area of the State's economy, and the backbone of thriving regional communities.
"The outlook and future opportunities for the Ord and northern agrifood industries is very positive due to the region's scale, geographic proximity to growing Asian markets and sustainable natural resources to support our commitment to grow the north," Mr Lewis said.
- The $16.3 million Royalties for Regions investment for the extension of Moonamang Road in Kununurra is contingent on Project Sea Dragon proceeding to development
- The State Government's investment complements the Northern Territory Government's commitment of $16.8 million and the Commonwealth Government's $40 million for the road infrastructure in the Northern Territory
- The State Government has been working to facilitate the project with the Northern Territory and Federal governments and proponent, Seafarms Group