The Western Australian Government has released a suite of investments under its 2020-21 State Budget which includes an overall $27 billion investment in infrastructure over the next four years.

Road infrastructure

The State Budget includes $2.39 billion for road infrastructure and maintenance, $1.43 billion to capital works and $960 million for asset management (maintenance, road safety and minor works), network operations and grants to local governments for works on local roads. 

Major projects to be progressed as part of the State Budget include:

  • $100 million to install Smart Freeway technology on the Mitchell Freeway between Hester Avenue and Vincent Street, including works on 16 on-ramps
  • $50 million to construct a 6m-wide Causeway Cyclist and Pedestrian Bridge with dedicated pedestrian and cyclist lanes to the west of the Causeway
  • $275 million to construct a 45.6km, 10m-wide sealed bypass two lane highway west of Bindoon, including connections to existing roads and overtaking lanes
  • $36 million on the Great Northern Highway Port Hedland Deviation project
  • As part of the WA Recovery Plan, more than $100 million has been invested towards major job-creating road projects to support local jobs and local businesses

Projects include:

  • $7 million for the Stock Road Bridge replacement
  • $16 million to improve amenity along some of Perth’s key arterial routes
  • $3 million for a right turn lane upgrade at the intersection of Main Street and Royal Street, Osborne Park
  • $5 million for upgrades to Kwinana Beach Road (from Patterson Road to CBH Terminal)
  • $11.35 million for the Metropolitan Intersection Crash Program which targets high risk intersections with a high crash rate for improvements – annual ongoing program
  • $11.5 million to upgrade and undertake pipe relocation works for intersection improvements of Albany Highway, Kelvin and Olga roads in Maddington
  • $16 million towards a program for Low Cost Crash Treatments on local government roads in the metropolitan area
  • An additional $40 million towards the next phase of the Stephenson Avenue Extension in the City of Stirling
  • $300,000 to upgrade Old Yanchep Road through the Tourist Road Improvement Program
  • $7 million for road and rail crossings upgrades on the South West Main Line in Cookernup, Coolup and Waroona

The Western Australian Government has undertaken planning for its current pipeline of infrastructure projects to cut red tape and to get funding flowing and approvals in place as quickly as possible. 

Work continues to fast track eleven major road projects across WA, as part of its Building for Tomorrow program, which will create up to 13,000 local jobs, including:

  • Roe Highway/Great Eastern Highway/Abernethy Road, expected to create 1,200 jobs, with contract awarding by January 2021 and early works to commence in March – 18 months earlier than anticipated
  • Stephenson Avenue Extension in Stirling, expected to create 800 jobs with phase one now under construction and phase two expressions of interest from industry brought forward six months early  
  • Leach Highway and Welshpool Road Interchange, expected to create 600 jobs and contract award anticipated December 2020, six months earlier than previously planned
  • Tonkin Highway Gap project, expected to create 1,050 jobs with early works planned for late-October, three months ahead of schedule
  • Mitchell Freeway Extension to Romeo Road, expected to create 1,200 jobs with early works planned for January 2021 and contract award due in late-2020
  • Mitchell Freeway Hodges Drive to Hepburn Avenue widening, expected to create 530 jobs with early works planned for January 2021 and contract award due later this year  
  • Swan River Crossings (Fremantle Traffic Bridge), expected to create 1,400 jobs with early works expected late 2021, and contract due to be awarded in December 2020, six months earlier than previously scheduled
  • Bunbury Outer Ring Road, expected to create 4,500 jobs, construction anticipated in January 2021, three months earlier than expected
  • Albany Ring Road, expected to create 1,000 jobs with construction now underway
  • Bussell Highway Duplication Stage 1 and Stage 2, to create 570 jobs with Stage 1 construction to begin in late-October
  • Lloyd Street Extension expected to create 280 jobs with contract award anticipated in January 2021 and early works to commence in March, 18 months earlier than previously planned

Funding has also been allocated for the following road improvement programs:

  • $49.4 million for a Safer Roads and Bridges Program
  • $21.4 million for the State Black Spot Program
  • $100 million for Regional State Road Safety Improvement Program, a landmark agreement negotiated with the Commonwealth Government to upgrade 1,400km of road across the state

METRONET

The State Budget includes a record $5.7 billion investment for METRONET projects.

The Budget secures the Government’s commitment to deliver projects such as the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, the Byford Rail Extension and new Midland Station.

Included in this State Budget for 2020-21 is:

  • $354.5 million for the Forrestfield-Airport Link project, set to be completed in late 2021
  • $275.3 million to procure 246 new locally made railcars and establish a local assembly and manufacturing facility at Bellevue
  • $195 million for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, Perth’s first east-west rail connection
  • $184.7 million for the Yanchep Rail Extension, with three new train stations
  • $144.6 million for removal of level crossings, including the underway Denny Avenue Level Crossing Removal Project and early works for three other crossings on the Armadale Line, with planning underway on a further three level crossings
  • $207.2 million for other projects such as the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, Byford Rail Extension and Midland Station Project
  • $92.3 million for the construction of the new Bayswater Station
  • $31.5 million to deliver a multi-storey car park at Mandurah Station
  • $16.3 million to help plan and build Lakelands Station. 

METRONET public transport projects will also be supported by investment in a large number of road projects, and additional projects funded through the Public Transport Authority’s 2020-21 budget, including:

  • $8 million to upgrade Cannington, Gosnells and Kelmscott stations to ensure they comply with the Disability Discrimination Act
  • $7 million to upgrade level crossings on the South-West Main Line
  • $1.8 million to install solar panels on up to 60 bus and train stations 
  • The McGowan Government has seven METRONET projects under construction this year, creating thousands of local jobs and providing opportunities for local businesses

Final negotiations for the major construction contract for the Morley-Ellenbrook Line are underway and expected to be completed soon. This is the final construction contract associated with the METRONET project. 

Other major METRONET projects are in the procurement phase, with works to commence shortly, including the anticipated Byford Rail Extension, New Midland Station and the removal of three level crossings along the Inner Armadale Line.

Smart freeways

The Western Australian Government has allocated $100 million to roll out smart freeway technology along the Mitchell Freeway.

The project is jointly funded by the State and Commonwealth Governments and will see coordinated ramp signals installed along 16 ramps from Hester Avenue to Vincent Street.

The technology is expected to alleviate pressure on the road network, and improve safety and connectivity for people living and working in the northern suburbs.

It will also lead to more reliable journey times and provide congestion relief for the more than 180,000 motorists per day that use Mitchell Freeway southbound, enabling the freeway to operate efficiently without stop-start conditions at merge points.

The technology has already had great success along the Kwinana Freeway northbound, between Roe Highway and the Narrows Bridge, with motorists saving up to ten minutes during peak hour.

The expressions of interest for industry to deliver the project will open before the end of the year, with construction on the project to commence in late 2021.

More than 700 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created over the life of the project.

Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said, “Despite COVID-19 causing the biggest global economic shock in nearly 100 years, our economic and financial position is better than first expected due to our world-leading response and border controls.

“Our responsible budget management and the strength of WA’s economy prior to the pandemic, provided WA with the capacity and flexibility to immediately respond to the impacts of COVID-19 across the state.

“This means we’ve been able to continue to invest in WA roads, building the infrastructure of tomorrow through strategic and well-planned projects.

“To keep our local economy strong, the Budget delivers a record $27 billion in infrastructure investment over the next four years, including construction and manufacturing work for METRONET and major roads across WA.

“The delivery of projects through our Building for Tomorrow program is providing short-term and long-term economic benefits to the State as it recovers from COVID-19 while building lasting infrastructure for generations.

“This includes opportunities for local employment, traineeships and apprenticeships plus contract opportunities for WA businesses in the planning, construction, and the operation of these projects.”

Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “We’re spending more than $260 million a month on major transport infrastructure projects across the state, including $100 million in regional Western Australia.

“The McGowan Government is building WA’s economy back-up, through investing more money and fast-tracking major transport infrastructure across the state.

“We have successfully fast-tracked eleven major road projects that have helped create a pipeline of work for local workers and businesses, helping our economy through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As well as reducing the time Western Australians spend stuck in traffic, we are creating thousands of local jobs and working hard to increase the level of Aboriginal participation and opportunities for Aboriginal businesses on our projects.

“The investment of $100 million to expand our Smart Freeway technology to the Mitchell Freeway recognises the success of the Smart Freeway (Kwinana Northbound), which has cut up to ten minutes off driver travel times, a significant and welcome achievement.

“Improved road safety, network reliability and reduced travel times achieved through our congestion busting projects is a win for every Western Australian.”

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