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WA Budget: $9 billion for roads

A $9 billion package for major road projects, including $3.4 billion for metro and $5.6 billion for regional road projects and upgrades has been included in WA’s 2022-23 State Budget – with the sealing of the Tanami among the major investments.

In handing down the Budget last night, WA Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan revealed a whopping $5.7 billion surplus for the state.

“Our strong Budget management means we are able to heavily reinvest in important infrastructure around the State, with road improvements a key focus,” said McGowan.

“The 2022-23 State Budget once again highlights our focus on building, maintaining and upgrading regional roads – delivering benefits for regional economies and setting communities up for the long-term.”

The $9 billion road spend will be invested into various projects across the next four years.

$5.6 billion for regional roads

New joint State-Commonwealth Government projects currently in procurement or planning and funded in the 2022-23 State Budget include:

  • $500 million to seal Tanami Road to the WA border;
  • $250 million to deliver Stages 1 and 2 of the Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation;
  • $120 million for Moorine Rock to Mount Holland road upgrades to support the Covalent lithium mine;
  • $50 million Great Northern Highway Newman to Port Hedland overtaking lanes;
  • $36 million towards the Secondary Freight Roads in Mid-West and Great Southern regions;
  • $20 million for a new intersection and road connection at Forrest Highway and Vittoria Road in Picton; and
  • $10 million Chidlow-York Road and Forrest Street intersection.

The following major State-Commonwealth regional roads projects currently under construction have received additional funding this Budget:

  • $400 million of additional funding for the $1.25 billion Bunbury Outer Ring Road Stages 2 and 3; and
  • $40 million of additional funding for the $76 million Port Hedland Airport Deviation project.

In addition to the projects that received new funding, the following State-Commonwealth regional roads projects are also underway:

  • $500 million sealing of the remaining lengths of Outback Way, which will provide a third sealed route across Australia;
  • $250 million Great Eastern Highway upgrades at Coates Gully between Walgoolan to Southern Cross and between Ghooli to Benari;
  • $175 million Albany Ring Road;
  • $120 million Marble Bar Road upgrades; and
  • $85 million Bussell Highway Duplication.

The jointly funded State-Commonwealth Regional Road Safety Program will receive a further $159 million this Budget, bringing the total investment to $828 million, with around 9,000 kilometres of regional roads to be upgraded by mid-2023.

In addition, funding has also been allocated for the following regional WA programs over the next four years:

  • $146 million for the Safer Roads and Bridges Program; and
  • about $200 million for the Resealing Program.

$3.4 billion for metro

The Budget includes funding allocated by the Commonwealth and State Governments for a number of new projects, including:

  • $80 million for the Nicholson Road and Garden Street Grade Separation;
  • $290 million for Thomas Road – South Western Highway to Tonkin Highway Dual Carriageway;
  • $100 million for Tonkin Highway Corridor Upgrades – North Ellenbrook Interchange (including private sector contribution); and
  • $35 million for the East Perth Footbridge.

As well as new road projects, projects currently underway in Perth and Peel include:

  • Tonkin Highway upgrade projects, including the Tonkin Gap project;
  • Mitchell Freeway Extension (Hester Avenue to Romeo Road);
  • Mitchell Freeway widening southbound from Hodges Drive to Hepburn Avenue;
  • Transforming (SMART) Freeways – Mitchell Freeway corridor;
  • Stephenson Avenue extension;
  • Queen Victoria Street – Swan River Crossings (Fremantle Road and Rail Bridge); and
  • Leach Highway and Welshpool Road Grade Separated Interchange.

“Our ongoing commitment to investing in our major metropolitan freight and commute routes, including the Mitchell Freeway and Tonkin Highway, will continue to support safe and efficient trips around Perth,” said Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

“We are delivering road infrastructure where our community needs it, with a number of major projects underway that will provide opportunities for local businesses and create local jobs.”

Funding has been allocated for the following programs in the Perth and Peel regions:

  • $16.2 million for the Safer Roads and Bridges Program; and
  • $98 million for the Resealing Program.
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