In 1998 Main Roads Western Australia (Main Roads) referred Stages 2, 3 and 4 of the Karratha – Tom Price Road, now called the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway (the Original Proposal), to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA assessed the Original Proposal and published EPA Report 1159. Ministerial Statement (MS) 677 was published in 2005.
Construction of Stage 2 was completed in 2008. Stage 3 of the Original Proposal is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2020. During the construction of Stage 3, Main Roads became aware that the Original Proposal’s authorised disturbance footprint was insufficient to complete all stages of the road. Additionally, changes in road design standards since 2005 have also required an increase in the authorised extent of disturbance to complete all stages of the project.
Stage 4 of the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway (the Revised Proposal) is located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, with the northern end of Stage 4 approximately 110 km south east of Karratha. The Revised Proposal involves the construction of 107 km of new road from the southern end of Stage 3 of the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway (Wallyinya Pool) to the Nanutarra - Munjina Road.
Figure 2-2 shows the original alignment for Stage 4, as approved under MS 677, and the Development Envelope for the proposed changes of the Revised Proposal. Stage 4 is estimated to require up to an additional 800 ha of disturbance, compared to the 250 ha originally anticipated in the CER. In addition to the overall increase in the disturbance footprint, the the proponent considers the following new or changed impacts may occur as a result of the proposed changes:
- Increase in clearing of the Themeda Grasslands TEC from 17.5 ha predicted in the original approval to 75 ha for the proposed change;
- Clearing of 115 ha of the Brockman Iron PEC; and
- Clearing of habitat for the night parrot (up to 530 ha), northern quoll (up to 530 ha), Pilbara leaf-nosed bat (up to 200 ha), ghost bat (up to 200 ha) and Pilbara olive python (up to 200 ha).
Table 2-2 provides a summary of the Revised Proposal with the key characteristics of the Revised Proposal detailed in Table 2-3. Table 2-4 presents a comparison of the key characteristics currently listed under MS 677 and the key characteristics for the Revised Proposal. The Development Envelope is shown in Figure 2-2.