Councillors at the Central Desert Regional Council were counting their pennies today as the cost of repairs to the Council’s road network was presented. The heavy rains during January have caused extensive damage to the Council’s 1,700km of roads. “Most of our primary access roads have been heavily impacted” President Adrian Dixon noted. “Council’s existing budget for road upgrades and repairs will not come close to covering what is needed to reinstate these roads.”
The road to Nyirripi, a community 150km south west of Yuendumu, has only just re-opened after the rains in January. Council grading crews have been working hard to grade a track along that road so the store truck can resume deliveries. “The Nyirripi Road has been extremely badly damaged” reported Glenn Marshall, Director Works. “Our engineers have assessed the road conditions and expect to be facing repair costs in excess of $3 million on the Nyirripi Road alone.”
Although the Nyirripi Road is now open, people wishing to use this road are warned to exercise extreme caution. The Council was also advised of damage to the main access roads to Engawala and Nturiya and to virtually all secondary roads.
The Council is in negotiation with the NT Government in an attempt to fund the estimated $5 million repair bill.