Western Australia Minister for Transport Simon O’Brien
State Budget 2010-11: Budget Delivers A Boost For Transport Infrastructure
Victor P Taffa
Sound financial management and a strong economic record means the State Government is, despite the recent economic downturn, in a position to invest in much-needed transport infrastructure upgrades.
Transport Minister Simon O’Brien today announced a suite of targeted transport infrastructure measures which will:
- See the upgrading of some of Western Australia’s most dangerous roads and intersections;
- Facilitate the development of practical public transport and school bus initiatives;
- Ensure metropolitan and regional West Australians have access to enhanced aviation and boating facilities.
In 2010-11, the State Government will invest $1.2 Billion building and maintaining WA’s 180,000 km of roads.
Mr. O’Brien said this year’s road budget allocation would place a special emphasis on upgrading metropolitan and regional road black spots.
“The State Government will provide $220 Million over the next four years for targeted grants through the Safer Roads and State Black Spot program to ensure the State’s roads network received much-needed upgrades.” the Minister said.
“In addition, in 2010-11 the Government will provide funding of $136 Million directly to local governments to undertake construction and maintenance on their own roads, up from $123 Million in 2009-10.”
In 2010-11, 58 % of available road funding dollars will be spent on country roads with 42 % being spent in the Perth Metropolitan area.
Key road building programs to have funding allocated include:
- $14 Million upgrade of Coalfields Highway between the Wellington Dam turnoff and Collie;
- $47.7 Million Reid Highway and Alexander Drive interchange;
- $112.6 Million interchange at Roe and Great Eastern highways in Midvale;
- $155 Million Mandurah Entrance Road;
- $111.6 Million Duplication of Dampier Highway between Karratha and Burrup Peninsula Road;
- $106.7 Million Indian Ocean Drive between Lancelin and Cervantes;
- Land acquisition and pre-construction activities for the $225 Million upgrade of Great Eastern Highway in Belmont and Rivervale.
The Minister said the Government was pleased to announce a massive cash injection to improve recreational boating facilities in WA.
“In 2010-11 and over the forward estimates nearly $68 Million will be spent on enhancing recreational boating facilities throughout the State.” the Minister said.
Works to be carried out include:
- $35 Million to improve Broome’s boating facilities;
- $24 million in grants to be provided through the Recreational Boating Facilities Scheme (RBFS);
- $3 Million to build a new boat ramp in Carnarvon;
- $1.5 Million for the Tantibiddi boat ramp near Exmouth;
- $2.3 Million for 46 floating pens in Exmouth.
“For some time, the people of WA and Broome in particular, have been crying out for enhanced recreational boating facilities. It has taken the election of a Liberal-National Government to make these facilities a reality.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“This funding, provided through the Liberal-National Government’s Royalties for Regions Scheme, will ensure much greater amenity for boat owners in Broome.”
The 2010-11 Budget will also introduce long-awaited reforms for the provision of air conditioning on rural school buses and for students with special needs.
Mr. O’Brien said that from this year all new school buses ordered would be fitted with air conditioning as standard and contractors paid to operate the air conditioning regardless of the location of the bus route.
“Existing school buses with a remaining service life of at least 10 years, and which entered into service within the last five years, will be retrofitted and the operation of air conditioning paid for.” the Minister said.
“Previously, school bus air conditioning was only applied to and paid for in certain parts of the State.”
The cost of the school bus package is $3.3 Million in 2010-11 and a total $10.9 Million over the forward estimates.
The Minister said all commuters and drivers had the right to feel safe and secure on the public transport network and enhanced bus security measures were an important tool for ensuring this occurred.
“Over the next four years, a total of $10.7 Million will be provided for security on the Transperth bus network.” the Minister said.
“This recurrent expenditure follows the Government’s 2009 enhancement of security on the Transperth bus fleet, including the installation of duress alarms on all buses; fitting of security cabs on buses to cover all buses in service after 6pm; and the doubling of the number of mobile security patrols.”
Mr. O’Brien said the Perth City Link Project would redefine the way people used and interacted with central Perth’s public transport facilities. Its works include undergrounding of a section of the Fremantle Railway through the CBD and the construction of a new underground Wellington Street Bus Station.
“The estimated cost of the Public Transport Authority’s component of the project is $609.3 Million with rail undergrounding planned to be completed in 2013-14 at a cost of $360.3 Million and the completion of a new underground bus station in 2015-16 at a cost of $249 Million.” the Minister said.
Quality aviation infrastructure was also highlighted in the Budget.
“Regional airports across WA will receive more than $28 Million in State Government funding over the next four years through the Regional Airports Development Scheme.” the Minister said.
The Liberal-National Government’s sound economic management means West Australians will be able to have confidence in the capacity of the Government to deliver its suite of Budget measures.