After being outsourced during the 1990s, road maintenance will once again become the responsibly of Main Roads Western Australia (Main Roads), with a new depot in Onslow to take charge in the Pilbara.
“Returning road maintenance to Main Roads will deliver better outcomes for workers, better outcomes for regional economies, and better outcomes for our road network,” said Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
A total of 31 new and transitioning employees will join Main Roads in the Pilbara, with the depot to serve as a base for Main Roads maintenance and construction crews.
This forms part of the state-wide return of road maintenance to Main Roads.
The new depot will be built on a 2656m2 property at Beadon Creek Road, Onslow and will be the fourth major base for Main Roads in the region.
The new Onslow depot will replace the existing Nanutarra depot, which is no longer serviceable due its remote location.
The Onslow depot, which includes two large sheds, a small office, staff amenities area, and a one-bedroom dwelling, is expected to help reduce operational costs, improve the attraction and retention of employees, along with improving serviceability to the road network in the southern coastal and western areas of the Pilbara.
The 31 new employees in the Pilbara region join more than 270 current employees who have already made the move to Main Roads in the Wheatbelt, Mid-West Gascoyne and Perth metropolitan area.
The new Onslow depot follows the recent purchase of a new depot in Jurien Bay to service the Mid-West Gascoyne Region, the lease of a new depot in Welshpool for the Perth Metropolitan Region’s Incident Response Service and Bridge Maintenance Crew, and the lease of a new office in Manjimup, to help service the South-West.
Further improvements to depots and offices around the state are planned to support the transition process.
“More than 600 new positions will be created within Main Roads to support the return of road maintenance functions, which means more local jobs – and road maintenance crews that are better placed to respond to issues when we need them,” added Saffioti.
The Wheatbelt and Mid-West Gascoyne regions transitioned to Main Roads in late 2022, with the Goldfields Esperance region and the Perth metropolitan area transitioning this year.
The Great Southern, South-West and Incident Response services will transition in early 2024, with the Kimberley region in late 2024.