Aurukun Access Road has become the longest sealed road in Cape York with the final section of the 79km stretch completed in time for 2019.
Aurukun Shire Council Mayor Dereck Walpo, who regularly drives the road to access Weipa and Cairns for meetings, said the trip would be much safer, especially during the wet season.
“Aurukun is the first community in Cape York with 73km of bitumen road in our shire and another 6km extending into Cook Shire,” he said.
“The sealing of Aurukun Access Road is a major achievement for our community in providing all-weather access from Aurukun township to the boundary of the Shire.
“However, it is paramount that the final 27km to the Peninsula Development Road, which is within the Cook Shire, be completed to provide access year-round to Cape York’s major arterial road.
“Council will continue to lobby the State and Federal governments to provide the necessary funds of about $15 million to complete the last section of the 106km Aurukun Access Road.
“We are very keen to work with Cook Shire on this project and would like to see the Aurukun Shire Council roads construction crew used on this project.
“Council’s Roads Project Supervisor Con Tati has trained a local Indigenous work crew who have worked with contractors on this project and we want to see their expertise continue to be used for projects of this nature.
“The Aurukun Shire Council road construction camp is adjacent to this section of the road making it ideally placed for future work crews.”
Cr Walpo said more than 10 local people had been trained during construction of the road providing them with the skills and tickets they needed to seek employment with local mining companies.
“I congratulate Con Tati and his team on completing the job which has been undertaken in stages over 10 years as funding has become available,” he said.
“In years to come the Peninsula Development Road will be sealed from Cairns to Weipa and it is vital that Aurukun can benefit from the savings this will bring for our community.
“It will reduce the freight charges on food and goods sold in our community and encourage local employment through tourism and better access to the mining projects within Cape York Peninsula.”