$1.64 Billion Alkimos Seawater Desalination Plant Set for Perth, Commencement on the Horizon
Western Australia is facing a critical need for a new water source…
17 May 2023
The Western Australian Government has unveiled its 2023-24 State Budget, showcasing significant investments in regional road projects and the METRONET program. The budget allocates $5.3 billion for regional roads and $5.9 billion for METRONET, marking the largest-ever investment in public transport in Perth’s history.
Over the next four years, $5.3 billion will be injected into regional roads, with several major projects receiving substantial funding. The Bunbury Outer Ring Road will receive $1.35 billion, the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway (Stage 4) will be allocated $380 million, the Great Northern Highway will receive $275 million for the Bindoon Bypass new alignment, and $250 million will be invested in upgrading the Great Eastern Highway.
Additional projects in the pipeline include the Albany Ring Road, which will receive $215 million, the Marble Bar Road Upgrade with a budget of $120 million, the Bussell Highway Duplication project receiving $115 million, the Port Hedland Airport Deviation securing $76 million, and the Indian Ocean Drive receiving $55 million for the Jurien Bay to Brand Highway section.
Apart from infrastructure development, the government is also committed to improving road safety. Over the next four years, various initiatives will receive funding. The Safer Roads and Bridges Program will be allocated $162 million annually, the Resealing Program will receive $299 million per year, and the Rail Crossing program will secure $20 million annually.
Furthermore, the State-Commonwealth Regional Road Safety Program will receive an additional $175 million to upgrade approximately 8,500 kilometers of regional roads by mid-2025.
Efforts to seal the Outback Way will also continue, with a focus on sealing 222 kilometers of priority sections by 2026-27. The government has allocated $150 million over the next four years to support this endeavor.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti emphasized that these road projects will not only create local job opportunities but also enhance the safety and efficiency of road connections across the regions. Saffioti stated, “The projects we are delivering will cut travel times, make our roads safer, and drive economic growth by improving the movement of freight by road, providing opportunities for local businesses and creating local jobs.”
In total, the 2023-24 State Budget commits $11.2 billion to regional infrastructure development.
Additionally, the budget includes a significant investment of $5.9 billion for the Western Australian and Federal government’s METRONET program. This funding injection represents the largest-ever investment in public transport in Perth. The expansion of Perth’s public transport network will feature 23 new stations, the removal of 16 level crossings, and the addition of 72 kilometers of new rail connections.
The $5.9 billion investment program will support several key projects. The Morley-Ellenbrook Line will receive $620 million, the Victoria Park-Canning Level Crossing Removal project secures $467 million, the Byford Rail Extension is allocated $333 million, the Yanchep Rail Extension will receive $318 million, the Thornlie-Cockburn Link secures $220 million, and the New Bayswater Station is allocated $83 million.
This investment will also bolster local manufacturing and employment opportunities, as locally built and manufactured C-series railcars will be delivered. The first C-series train is set to begin operations later this year and will initially run along the Joondalup and Mandurah lines. Once the Yanchep Rail Extension is complete, the C-series will extend further north, with services commencing in the new year after completion at the end of 2023.