An additional $400 million in funding has been allocated to the Bunbury Outer Ring Road (BORR) project as part of the 2022-23 Western Australian State Budget.
The project is jointly funded, with the Federal Government providing $1 billion and the Western Australian Government $250 million.
Being the biggest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in the South West, the updated budget of $1.25 billion will deliver Stages 2 and 3 of the project, with major benefits for the economy both during construction and once in operation.
Western Australian Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said the BORR is the biggest transport infrastructure project ever planned or executed for the South West, which is already generating significant local economic and job opportunities.
“This increased investment aligns with the scale and complexity of this massive project and reflects the current market pressures,” Ms Saffioti said.
“We know this project is going to deliver huge benefits for our economy, with up to 4,500 direct and indirect job opportunities during construction.
“As of the end of March this year, we have invested $64 million into 188 local businesses and $6.4 million into Aboriginal businesses, with more opportunities available.”
The Federal Government recently commissioned an independent cost review into the project, which resulted in additional funding being allocated in the Federal Budget.
Rising supply and demand pressures have resulted in recent increases in key costs for the project, including the cost of diesel and bitumen supply, which have increased by 60 and 20 per cent respectively over the past 12 months.
This additional investment addresses cost pressures and allows local businesses to continue to participate in the project, with around $450 million in targeted local spend.
A further $30 million worth of opportunities for Aboriginal businesses is available as part of the project.
Collie-Preston MLA, Jodie Hanns, said this project recognises the significance of delivering vital infrastructure to provide a safer and more efficient road system for the South West region of Western Australia.
“It is important that money spent on our region with BORR stays in our region to provide further opportunities for the community and the $450 million targeted local spend is exciting for our local industry,” Ms Hanns said.
Completed in 2014, the northern section extends from Forrest Highway in the north near Australind, to the northern end of the project’s first stage.
The northern section works include:
- Interchanges at Paris Road/Clifton Road, Raymond Road and South Western Highway (north)
- A bridge taking the project over Golding Crescent, Ferguson River, the freight rail line, and Boyanup-Picton Road, along with twin bridges over the Collie River
- An intersection at Discovery Road
- Intersection improvements for Stage 1
- 20.8km of local roads to enhance local access, and allow for future commercial and urban development
The southern section, which is still subject to environmental approvals, is proposed to extend from the southern end of the project’s first stage, to Bussell Highway south of Bunbury.
The southern section works include:
- A roundabout at Lillydale Road
- A bridge over the road at Yalinda Drive for local connectivity and an interchange at Bussell Highway
- 13km of local roads
- Significant additional measures to mitigate environmental impacts
This means that the interchanges at Discovery Road and Lillydale Road will be constructed using an at-grade intersection and roundabout respectively and the existing corridor in the central section will be retained.
The project will provide a safe and efficient road network for traffic travelling into and around Bunbury, avoiding 13 sets of traffic lights and one rail level crossing.
It will ensure more efficient traffic movements for the freight transport industry and improved safety for nearby residents due to less trucks using local roads.
Bunbury MLA, Don Punch, said, “Investing in well-planned transport projects will keep the Bunbury region moving and boost its status as a major economic regional centre.
“Removing freight and regional traffic from our local roads will provide relief for local residents, while maintaining easy access to Bunbury and other regional destinations.”