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Western Australia praises road upgrade plans

Canberra pledges funds for Bunbury road, Tonkin and Great Northern Highways


Development of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road and Perth’s Tonkin Highway are on the cards after the federal government pledged to allocate $3.2 billion to Western Australian infrastructure projects in the 2018-19 federal Budget.

The funding allocation was praised by WA transport minister Rita Saffioti, who says the Federal allocation of $560 million to the Bunbury project would provide more efficient access for freight to the Bunbury Port, and enable the expansion of the industrial centres.

“This latest Commonwealth funding allows us to finalise the planning, consultation and approvals and then get on with building the road,” Saffioti says.

“This is a major win for jobs in the South-West and a major win for Bunbury residents who will see reduced freight traffic on local roads.”

The funding will enable the State Government to construct the remaining stages from the South Western Highway to the Bussell Highway and from the Perth-Bunbury Highway to near Picton Boyanup Road.

The federal government also committed $253 million to the Stage 3 extension of the Tonkin Highway, extending it from Thomas Road to the South Western Highway and including grade separations there, as well as at Orton and Mundijong Roads.

Grade separations will also be introduced at the interchanges of Hale, Welshpool and Kelvin roads with the Highway, and a grade separated interchange built at Bishop Road.

The Highway will also be widened and reconfigured, and managed motorway technologies implemented to reduce a gap in service levels, a joint statement said.

Other road upgrades to be partially funded under the allocation are:

  • Extending the Mitchell Freeway northbound from Hester Avenue to Romeo Road (with an indicative estimated cost of $215 million, with $108 million in federal funding);
  • Building an interchange between Welshpool Road and Leach Highway (indicative estimated cost of $93 million, with $47 million in federal funding);
  • Building an interchange between Roe Highway and the Great Eastern Highway Bypass (indicative estimated cost of $180 million, with $144 million in federal funding);
  • Extending Stephenson Avenue in Innaloo to the Mitchell Freeway, connecting it with the Osborne Park industrial area and the Stirling City Centre (indicative estimated cost of $130 million, with $65 million in federal funding);
  • Great Northern Highway Bindoon Bypass (indicative estimated cost of $275 million, with $220 million in federal funding); and
  • Another $10 million in funding for planning works for the WA Orange Route, part of the long-proposed but never developed Perth-Adelaide National Highway. If built, the road would replace part of the Great Eastern Highway between Midland and Clackline as the primary freight route to the east of Perth.  

The Federal government also committed $1.05 billion to the Metronet project, a key policy of the WA Labor government, that will see new stations built and rail infrastructure upgraded.

Of this, $500 million will go towards building a rail line spur from Morley to suburban Ellenbrook, and another $241 million allocated to extend the Armadale line to Byford.

The announcement comes after work started on upgrades to WA’s Great Northern Highway in the Kimberley region and the state’s northern wheatbelt.

The Kimberley works will upgrade a section of the Great Northern Highway known as Maggie’s Jump Up, the intersections of the Buntine and Victoria Highways and part of the highway spur out to Wyndham – which represents the only sealed access to the town’s port.

The Federal Government has committed almost $45 million to the $56 million project, which will see about 22km of the Wyndham Spur section widened and overlaid and another 5km of road rebuilt, including a northbound overtaking lane, at Maggie’s Jump Up.

The wheatbelt upgrades include a 7.7km bypass of the town of Miling and upgrades to 16km of Highway around the town of Pithara, including 10km of new road.

Saffioti said the modifications would also include dedicated parking areas to separate local and through traffic and new bus bays within the Pithara townsite itself.


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