The Perth City Deal has received a major funding boost after the Federal and Western Australian Governments announced an additional $49 million to deliver the Edith Cowan University (ECU) campus and the new Swan River Bridge.

The major construction contract for the new ECU campus has also been awarded to Western Australian builders Multiplex, while a consortium made up of companies Civmec Construction and Engineering Pty Ltd, Seymour Whyte Constructions Pty Ltd and WSP Australia Pty Ltd, will construct the bridge.

Both Governments announced an additional $49 million for the ECU campus while ECU has also provided a $60 million boost, taking the value of the project to $853 million – with the Australian Government investing a total of $294 million, the Western Australian Government $199 million, and ECU $360 million.

The Swan River Bridge is being jointly funded by the Federal and Western Australian Governments on a 50:50 basis, with each providing an additional $25 million to the project, bringing the total to $100 million.

The funding announcements take the total value of the Perth City Deal to $1.69 billion.

The additional Perth City Deal funding is required to address the current challenging construction environment and labour market, allow design improvements, and enable more manufacturing work to be undertaken locally.

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said the Perth City Deal was already helping to transform the city.

“The Perth City Deal was a long term partnership between all three levels of governments and the private sector to bring more jobs, more investment to Western Australia that will create a stronger economy and a stronger future for Perth,” Mr Morrison said.

“ECU project is a key to the Perth City Deal that would inject 7,500 construction jobs and 2,300 ongoing jobs into the city.

“The new ECU campus will not only reinvigorate Perth’s city centre, but it will redefine Western Australia’s higher education offering by bringing together more than 10,000 students plus staff generating tourism, filling up bars, restaurants and hotels and bringing more people to local shops and businesses.

“The new Swan River Bridge, which will be built and manufactured locally in Western Australia by Western Australian workers, will become an iconic part of the Perth skyline across the river, providing better transport connections to and from the CBD.

“This injection into the Perth City Deal means boots on the ground and tradies on site even sooner, with major works expected to start later this year.

“We’re bringing the jobs and opportunities from the Perth City Deal to life to deliver the stronger economy that secures a stronger future for Western Australia.”

Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said these job-creating projects were part of the extensive investment his government was making in infrastructure and transport for the future.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime transformation of our city centre, attracting thousands of people into the heart of the city during the day and night, creating activity and vibrancy throughout our CBD,” Mr McGowan said.

“We believe ECU will attract investment in Perth, boost the visitor economy, provide benefits for CBD businesses and further cement Perth’s reputation as a great place to live, work and visit.

“The Swan River is an iconic part of Perth, and it’s only fitting that we deliver a bridge constructed locally by Western Australians.

“This project will create and support hundreds of local jobs, while providing a new walking and cycling opportunity for our local community.  

“This is a key part of the Perth City Deal that will see more than $1.6 billion invested in projects across our CBD, supporting local jobs, local businesses and encouraging people back into the City.”

As well as the new ECU campus and Swan River Bridge, the $1.69 billion Perth City Deal includes:

  • Investment in Curtin University’s Historical Heart Cluster, including the expansion of the Graduate School of Business and Law School and the creation of a healthcare and clinical training facility


  • Investment in Perth’s cultural attractions, including the Perth Cultural Centre rejuvenation, the Perth Concert Hall Redevelopment and the WACA redevelopment and public swimming pool


  • Investment towards the celebration of Western Australia’s rich Aboriginal culture and history, including important community consultation and engagement, feasibility studies and preliminary design work for the Perth Aboriginal Cultural Centre


  • The CBD Transport Plan, an investment to improve active and public transport accessibility and safety in the CBD, increasing the attractiveness and sustainability of the city for residents and visitors

Federal Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said the additional funding and contract award for the ECU campus paves the way for construction to begin on the world-class creative industries, business and technology campus, with schematic designs now complete.

“The Australian Government is providing significant support for the new ECU city campus, with $294 million now committed to make sure we can deliver the full project scope and meet forecast cost pressures in the construction market,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The economic impact of the development will also be significant, with the project estimated to provide a $1.5 billion boost to the Western Australian economy over the next four years.

“This is yet another example of the Perth City Deal, now worth nearly $1.7 billion, delivering for Western Australians, creating jobs and economic stimulus while securing the long-term prosperity and liveability of Perth.”

Western Australian Minister for Transport and Planning, Rita Saffioti, said, “The new bridge would be six metres wide and significantly higher than the current Causeway Bridge, with dedicated pedestrian and cyclist lanes providing safer access for the more than 1,500 cyclists and 2,000 pedestrians who use the path on the existing Causeway Bridge daily.

“Civmec has delivered some of our iconic bridges, including the Matagarup Bridge and the Kids Bridge, next to the Perth Children’s Hospital.

“Set to become another iconic structure, the new Swan River Bridge will be fabricated locally in Henderson.

“With an estimated 540,000 cycling trips undertaken on the current Causeway Bridge, the new structure will provide a safer, easier option for cyclists and pedestrians.

“As we have seen with the Matagarup Bridge, the new bridge will become a meeting point for cyclists, pedestrians and families, while also providing a new tourism experience.

“The design of the structural elements of the bridges derive inspiration from the stories of Fanny Balbuk and Yagan – two key figures associated with Heirisson Island.

“Development work and early engagement with key stakeholders including Aboriginal representatives, recreational and commercial river users, local businesses and key local government agencies is currently underway.”

ECU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steve Chapman, said this was an exciting milestone for the ECU city campus.

“Multiplex’s extensive experience in large and complex construction projects both here and abroad will help us realise our ambitious vision of a landmark for Western Australia,” Professor Chapman said. 

“The construction of ECU City will also offer rich and diverse opportunities for local subcontractors, as well as exciting student outcomes, including apprenticeships, work integrated learning and mentorship programs for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

“Our city university will definitively change the heart of Perth and be one of the most digitally-advanced campuses in the world.”

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