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Case Study: Peninsula Developmental Road

The Peninsula Developmental Road (PDR) is a critical transport link within the Cape York Peninsula. Local communities rely on the PDR for connectivity, access to essential health and well-being services, freight, education, cultural purposes and economic opportunity. The PDR also provides the critical access routes to Cairns, Weipa, and the communities on Cape York.

In 2014, the Queensland Government committed to upgrade and progressively seal 173km of the PDR and community access roads as part of the 5-year Cape York Region Package.

Peninsula Developmental Road - Mein Deviation

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To support this project, and work collaboratively, we partnered with Cape York Traditional Owners to establish the PDR Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA).

The PDR ILUA validated any past works undertaken on the PDR and records Traditional Owner consent to proceed with future PDR works validly, with respect to Native Title Act 1993 (Commonwealth) and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Queensland). The PDR ILUA also sets out the agreed framework for an Environment Management Strategy that is implemented during the PDR works.

Gravel laid on wet bitumen
Gravel laid on wet bitumen at Sorayas Hill on the Peninsula Developmental Road, Cape York Region Package
A man in high vis gear wearing sunglasses next to a ute
Sorayas Hill worker Patrick Spratt working on the Peninsula Development Road

Since its establishment, the PDR ILUA has helped to build stronger relationships and greater trust between the Queensland Government and Cape York Traditional Owners. The establishment of the PDR ILUA has provided an important mechanism for the unified focus to improve opportunities for Cape York communities. It serves to actively support the provision of training, education, employment and economic development through works undertaken on the PDR. 86 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including 36 New Entrant trainees, were employed on the sealing and gravel production projects on the PDR. Additionally, 25 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses were working on or sub-contracted to the PDR projects. 

  Constructing culverts
Construction on the Peninsula Developmental Road, Cape York Region Package Archer to Wolverton

Peninsula Developmental Road completion video

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In 2015 alone, approximately 4,245 cultural heritage monitor hours were accumulated across the projects being delivered on the PDR through the Cape York Region Package, and at the peak of construction there were more than 80 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees employed on the projects.

We also launched a scholarship opportunity for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people with a traditional or historical connection to Country around the PDR as part of the Land Use Agreement. 

Constructing with a cement mixer
Construction on the Peninsula Developmental Road, Cape York Region Package Archer to Wolverton