May 16, 2011

Budget delivers for WA infrastructure

Budget delivers for WA infrastructure

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Minister for Infrastructure & Transport

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

16 May 2011

Today I joined Minister for Defence and Member for Perth, Stephen Smith to reaffirm the Gillard Labor Government’s commitment to renewing and expanding Western Australia’s road, rail and public transport infrastructure.

We are determined to return the Budget to surplus in the short term without sacrificing long term investments vital to making the State’s economy more productive, its regions more prosperous and improve the quality of life for Perth residents.

Last week’s Federal Budget added to our record capital works program, providing new funding of up to $480 million to extensively upgrade the road network around Perth Airport and the nearby industrial estates.

The ‘WA Gateway’ project will put in place the modern, well-planned infrastructure necessary to support the mining industry’s future growth as well as the local communities that work for it.

We want a Western Australia that’s built to compete and prosper.

All up, the Gillard Labor Government is now investing a record $3.7 billion over the six-year life of our current Nation Building Program (2008-09 to 2013-14), with some $920 million being provided in the coming financial year alone to start, progress or complete a long list of large and smaller scale projects – see attached map.

This investment is almost twice what the former Howard Government spent over a similar period of time.

During 2011-12, work is expected to start on the following major upgrades:

  • Widening the Great Eastern Highway from four to six lanes between Kooyong Road and the Tonkin Highway.

Federal contribution: $280 million

  • Realigning the Great Northern Highway at Port Hedland around the Wedgefield industrial area.

Federal contribution: $154 million

  • Sinking the railway line through Perth’s CBD, a central component of the visionary Perth City Link project which will reunite the City’s retail district with the Northbridge entertainment precinct.

Federal contribution: $236 million

  • Extending the recently completed Bunbury Port Access Road and constructing the first stage of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.

Federal contribution: $118.6 million

  • Planning on the Kewdale Intermodal Rail Supply Chain and constructing a rail passing loop outside Fremantle Port, the first part of the Perth Urban Transport and Freight Corridor Upgrade Project.

Federal contribution: $350 million

  • Upgrading road and rail access to Esperance Port.

Federal contribution: $60 million

At the other end of the construction cycle, work is expected to be completed on the following projects over the next twelve months:

  • Installing a grade separation at the intersection between Great Eastern and Roe Highways.

Federal contribution: $48 million

  • Constructing two bridges to carry the Reid Highway over Alexander Drive as well as new on/off ramps.

Federal contribution: $10 million

  • Constructing a single carriageway on Hepburn Avenue between Beechboro Road North and Marshall Road.

Federal contribution: $5 million

  • Upgrading and widening the Kwinana Freeway between Leach and Roe Highways, part of the Perth Urban Transport and Freight Corridor Upgrade Project.

Federal contribution: $350 million

  • Upgrading the grain line rail between Avon and Albany (Stage 1).

Federal contribution: $30 million

We’ve also continued a range of initiatives designed to make our highways and local roads safer:

  • $7.5 million to eliminate 46 dangerous black spots on local roads;
  • $2.5 million to build and refurbish rest stops and the other roadside facilities used by truck drivers.

The 2011-12 Budget provides $152.1 million to assist West Australian local governments maintain and upgrade their local roads.

Since being elected, the Labor Government’s infrastructure priorities in the West have been all about positioning the State to take full advantage of the next resources boom as well as tackling the worsening congestion in and around Perth.

From Port Hedland in the north to Bunbury in the south, the Gillard Labor Government is reversing the neglect we inherited and begun putting in place the modern, well-planned infrastructure critical to making Western Australia even more prosperous and its economy even more productive.