The 2022-23 Western Australia State Budget has allocated millions to various state ports and rails in need of enhancement, including Bunbury and Esperance Ports, the Australian Rail Corridor and Westport project.

$10.7 million investment to Bunbury and Esperance Ports

The Western Australian Government is investing $10.7 million  in the Bunbury and Esperance Ports to drive trade, enhance environmental practices and create jobs.

The $10.7 million infrastructure and equipment projects include:

  • $3.6 million for a new pilot launch for the Bunbury Port, which will ensure enhanced reliability of pilotage services for unseasonal weather events, improving the safe transfer of marine pilots and reducing the Port’s risk exposure to direct trade losses
  • $3.2 million for the upgrade and extension of the fire ring main around Berth 8 at Bunbury Port, extending fire hydrant coverage to all existing sheds and the quayside in the precinct
  • $3.9 million for the installation of a best practice, first flush tank and dissolved metals treatment filter to improve Esperance Port’s environmental practices and enhance capacity to manage potential spills and dissolved contaminants under storm conditions on Berth 2

Western Australian Ports Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, “The South West and Goldfields-Esperance regions are well positioned for increased investment and activity over the next few years, which will see ongoing demand for import and export services at our Bunbury and Esperance ports.”

These new projects will support the continued growth and development of Bunbury and Esperance ports, improving local jobs, broader engagement with local suppliers and increased trade opportunities.

Works are expected to commence in late 2022.

$3 million investment in Australind Rail Corridor

The Western Australian Government has invested $3 million to upgrade and improve the safety of eleven railway crossings along the Australind Line.

Over the next three years, 11 railway crossings along the line will be upgraded in the Peel and South-West regions, including:

  • Leslie Street, Serpentine – flashing lights to be replaced with a boom gate
  • Waterloo Road, Picton – flashing lights to be replaced with a boom gate
  • Lakes Road, North Dandalup – flashing lights to be replaced with a boom gate
  • Forrest Avenue, Bunbury – pedestrian crossing renewal
  • Station Street, Yarloop – flashing lights to be replaced with a boom gate
  • Clifton Road, Yarloop – flashing lights to be replaced with a boom gate
  • Johnston Road, Yarloop – flashing lights control renewal
  • Watkins Road, Mundijong – pedestrian crossing renewal
  • Uduc Road, Harvey (North) – automatic gate pedestrian crossing upgrade
  • Uduc Road, Harvey (South) – pedestrian crossing renewal
  • Peterson Road, Warawarrup – flashing lights control renewal

Active railway crossings, which feature warning bells, flashing lights and automatically operated boom gates, can significantly improve safety for road users by helping prevent accidental collisions and near misses where regional roads cross railway tracks.

Pedestrian safety will also be improved with several existing pedestrian crossings to be replaced with disability compliant crossing facilities.

 The pedestrian crossing works include the upgrade of existing pedestrian paths and the installation of new mazes, signage and pavement markings.

Bunbury MLA, Don Punch, said, “Impacts to the Australind will be inconvenient – we apologise for this in advance.

“We announced this closure as early as possible so we could seek feedback on replacement and alternative services from the South-West community.

“However, the closure of the line gives us the opportunity to undertake a significant tranche of important safety works on the Australind Line while minimising any additional disruptions for regional passengers.”

The 181km Australind Train Line, which operates four daily services between Perth and Bunbury, has been running since 1947 with approximately 1,500 passengers making the return journey each week.

 Work is expected to commence on the first three projects before the end of 2022.

In early 2023, the Armadale Line will close for up to 18 months and services on the Australind Line will also be impacted.

A survey for Australind passengers and the community was opened April 1 so South-West residents could have their say on what replacement services they would like during the shutdown. The survey closed April 26, 2022 and the feedback received is currently being reviewed.

Ms Saffioti, said, “We have asked Australind passengers and the broader community for feedback on what replacement services they would like to see during this period, and we are working through this now to put together the services the community needs.”

WA invests millions in Westport project

The Western Australian Government has invested millions to re-energise Victoria Quay as part of the Westport project, which will see a new outer harbour and container port, new jobs, and increased tourism and economic development potential.

The Future of Fremantle Planning Committee is currently developing options which will see the inner harbour transformed into a new, vibrant waterfront precinct. 

An initial $7.5 million is being invested to enhance public space at the port, providing shade, seating, landscaping, improved public space, and pedestrian and cycle pathways, with works expected to start in late 2022.

Ms Saffioti, said, “By providing more welcoming spaces and highlighting the history, we are making it far more accessible and providing opportunities for further commercial and recreational use of the quay.

“This is the first stage of the evolution of the Inner Harbour port area under the Future of Fremantle project and the broader transformational Westport project, under which new container port facilities will be built at Kwinana.”

Stronger connections will be made from connecting Victoria Quay to the train station and to Bathers Beach.

Up to $5 million will be spent investigating the relocation of the area’s vehicle shipping operations, opening up the area for new community, business or tourism opportunities.

$2 million will also be spent investigating the feasibility of relocating livestock shipping from the Fremantle Port. This relocation will create new options for Fremantle and a potential economic development opportunity for regional Western Australia.

State Premier, Mark McGowan, said, “Victoria Quay has remarkable potential to become one of Western Australia’s best entertainment, tourism and cultural precincts.

“By relocating the area’s livestock and vehicle shipping operations away from their current locations, we can ultimately open up and activate this waterfront precinct.

“Our initial $7.5 million investment will improve amenity and access to the area, as we continue to transform Victoria Quay into something which all Western Australians can be proud of.”

A further $2.5 million will assist the Future of Fremantle project to continue examining land use and economic development opportunities in and around Victoria Quay.

$3.5 million is also included in the Budget to undertake works at and around the historic HMAS Ovens submarine at the WA Maritime Museum.

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