MEDIA RELEASE – “Carpentaria Shire receive boost from drought project”

6 May 2016

Carpentaria Shire Council has received a significant boost, with almost $1.5 million in funding approved under the Drought Communities Programme for pavement and sealing works of the road from Normanton to Burketown, which is part of the Savannah Way linking Cairns and Broome.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said this upgraded road would help spur increased economic activity in the region.

“The Coalition Government’s Drought Communities Programme is providing $35 million over four years to fund local infrastructure initiatives in eligible drought-affected communities to build greater economic strength,” Minister Joyce said.

“This project will improve road stability in Carpentaria and increase resilience against wet season events, providing the region with an economic benefit through extended and improved road access.

“The road from Normanton to Burketown Road is a key freight route used to transport livestock to market, and I’m pleased that the project will improve access to and from 10 major cattle stations nearby.

“Improved tourist access will see economic benefits for the region. This key route is part of the Savannah Way, which links Cairns to Broome and connects to 15 National Parks and five World Heritage Areas.”

Senator for Queensland Barry O’Sullivan said approved projects under the programme were constructed using local materials to maintain eligible communities received the maximum economic benefit.

“I started my working life on the beef roads in the Gulf and I understand the importance of having good infrastructure that can quickly recover from wet seasons,” Senator O’Sullivan said.

“Sealing the roads through the Carpentaria Shire will be a great long term economic driver for the region and is an important use for these available funds.

“I have heard a lot of positive feedback about our Drought Communities Programme from other communities across Western Queensland and I look forward to following the progress of these projects in the Gulf.”

Minister for Regional Development, Fiona Nash, said she was pleased that Carpentaria Shire Council is constructing such a key piece of transport infrastructure that will increase economic activity and improve access.

“The Drought Communities Programme is an important measure under the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper to support communities in need,” Minister Nash said.

“This is one of the many measures the Government is delivering to support farmers and their local communities affected by drought, including concessional loans and income support through the Farm Household Allowance, as well as tax assistance and free rural financial counselling services.

“The Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper makes available nearly $3 billion over the next 10 years to provide farming families, farm businesses and rural communities with support to prepare for, manage through, and recover from drought.

“Although some areas of western Queensland, including Carpentaria , have recently experienced heavy rainfall and flooding and are receiving disaster assistance to restore public assets, the projects that are to be funded under the Drought Communities Programme provide long-term and ongoing benefits to a community that has experienced drought conditions for a number of years.”

To find out about other support available, visit or for information on the Farm Household Allowance, call the Department of Human Services Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16.

More information on the Drought Communities Programme can be found at