Cooper, a remote region of Australia in the southeast of Queensland became significant in the period from 1920 to 1930, when a chain of cattle stations, stretching from the Northern Territory across Queensland to New South Wales, was established by the gambler-entrepreneur Sidney Kidman. The station on the Cooper became a vital link on the route that covered over 2,000 km. In the years 1960-70 oil and gas fields were discovered in the arid lands nearby. Full credit for the idea of the bridge over the Cooper must be given to one engineer, Bob Willing, who was determined that there should be a road between the mining town of Broken Hill, and the mining town of Mount Isa. He purchased satellite photographs of the region taken after the largest flood on record in 1974 and convinced the Councils of four Shires in southwest Queensland that it was possible to go ahead with the project.