Peninsula Developmental Road Water Points and Gravel Pits, Cape York

RoadTek and the Department of Transport and Main Roads

Summary

In 2010, Environment North (in association with Biotropica Australia) surveyed a network of 131 small waterpoints and numerous gravel pits along the Peninsula Development Road (PDR) on Cape York Peninsula to assist improving resource security for road maintenance and improvement projects.

Work involved comprehensive site surveys and analyses, identification of opportunities and constraints to development, and identification of issues associated with obtaining statutory approvals (including extraction permits under the Environmental Protection Act) and issues under the Wild Rivers Act in place at the time. Many provisions of this Act have been replaced by the Regional Planning Interests Act.

The findings were organised into a comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS) database that included all site details such as habitat features, plant communities and species, management challenges (e.g. weeds and erosion), and development recommendations.

In 2014 this work was expanded to include detailed desktop and field assessments for seven 25 ML off-road storages to support the construction of early works under the Cape York Roads Package. Further work was completed for the South of Coen section (14 storages) in June 2015 and eight more near Weipa are currently under review.


Innovation/Distinguishing Features

Addressing and negotiating relatively new legislative requirements for obtaining road construction and maintenance materials in Wild River / Strategic Environmental Areas.

Production of a GIS resource for planning future roadworks as well as managing biodiversity in the area. For example, the 131 sites surveyed are well distributed along the road and site records comprise a useful database for the distribution of plant species and weeds, for example. This database has already proved useful in assessing the distribution of protected plants along the PDR.