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Assistant Minister Briggs: Infrastructure for a more productive Arnhem Land
For the last two days the Prime Minister and I have been meeting with indigenous community leaders in East Arnhem Land to discuss the opportunities and challenges of delivering infrastructure in the region.
It is vital in this unique part of Australia that the necessary infrastructure is in place to ensure local communities have every opportunity to grow their businesses and access vital services when needed most.
The Australian Government is committed to improving the connectivity between remote indigenous communities in East Arnhem Land to ensure people can get to work and services can be delivered more effectively.
In this year's budget we provided $90 million to the Regional Roads Productivity Package for the Northern Territory which includes two projects in Arnhem Land, being:
- $14 million towards for upgrades to the Central Arnhem Road; and
- $9 million to upgrade sections of the Arnhem Link Road.
These two projects will involve construction of a new bridge over Rocky Bottom Creek, road realignments and upgrading sections to good gravel standard.
Project planning is well underway with construction expected to commence in 2015 and be completed in 2016.
Access to remote communities by air is also crucial which is why the Australian Government has also committed almost $500,000 to aviation projects in East Arnhem Land through the Regional Aviation Access Programme.
It is clear community leaders want to improve key infrastructure across the region to drive local economic growth and prosperity so their people and culture can continue to thrive in this very special part of the world.
The Australian Government will continue to work with the Northern Territory Government and local indigenous communities through the Northern Australia White Paper to ensure key projects are identified and delivered to support future growth throughout the region.