More than $250 million of road safety upgrades will be rolled out across approximately 4,000 kilometres of regional Western Australian roads this financial year, reducing the risk of run-off-road crashes and supporting local jobs.
Funded through the Regional Road Safety Program, low cost treatments such as sealing existing unsealed road shoulders and installing audible edge or centre lines to warn drivers who veer over the white line, will be delivered across the State.
The Regional Road Safety Program is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments, with an initial $100 million of works underway already, and another $158 million allocated to be spent by the end of this financial year.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government had allocated billions of dollars to road improvements across regional Australia.
“We committed $500 million for targeted road safety upgrades across Australia as part of our infrastructure stimulus package in June, as well as an additional $2 billion for the Road Safety Program in the 2020-21 Budget,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This funding will be rolled out on a ‘use it or lose it basis’, which means the delivery of life-saving upgrades to regional roads across Western Australia is on the horizon.
“This is also about supporting local jobs and providing a welcome boost to local economies at the same time – we are backing our regions to drive the nation’s economic recovery.”
The Australian Government’s funding for the Road Safety Program is subject to ‘use it or lose it’ provisions and will deliver life-saving treatments to regional roads across Western Australia, while also supporting local jobs and providing a welcome boost to local economies.
The ‘use it or lose it’ provisions require States and Territories to use their notionally allocated funds within a timeframe, or the funds can be reallocated to projects in other jurisdictions.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said the program would roll out more potential lifesaving treatments on up to 7,000 kilometres of roads across regional Western Australia.
“As the economy rebuilds we have more people getting back to business and work, as well as people choosing to ‘Wander out Yonder’ in our beautiful State, it’s important we make sure our roads are as safe as possible for all users,” Premier McGowan said.
“This tranche of funding will provide much needed upgrades to key roads all across our State from the Kimberley to the Great Southern, supporting local jobs and providing a much-needed economic boost to the regions.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said regional roads were vital to the economy-shaping work of the State’s freight fleet.
“From Western Australia’s world-class wool to the thriving iron-ore exports, local truckies work hard travelling the regional road network to keep the economy ticking along and businesses running by getting goods to markets,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.
“By funding road safety programs like this, we are continuing to support the economy-shaping work while ensuring they make it home safe at the end of each trip – nothing is more important than that.”
Western Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said work on the 34 projects funded by the $100 million were already underway with another 62 projects, worth $158 million to get off the ground.
“We have worked hard to secure this money and by the end of the financial year low cost treatments such as shoulder widening and the installation of audible edge lines will be rolled out across 4,000 kilometres of rural roads,” Ms Saffioti said.
“This jointly funded program will make a huge difference to our regional roads, providing potentially lifesaving treatments such as shoulder widening and the installation of audible edge lines.”
Federal Member for Canning Andrew Hastie, who was on site today, said funding provided through the Program delivers cost-efficient improvements that make travelling safer for locals and tourists in regional Western Australia.
“The Canning electorate will benefit from over $21 million in Program funding for a range of works, improving regional roads throughout Murray-Wellington, Darling Range and Mandurah,” Mr Hastie said.
Key projects funded through this tranche include more than $8 million for upgrades to Great Northern Highway, more than $7 million for North West Coastal Highway and more than $5 million for upgrades to Albany Highway in Wagin.
The $455 million commitment to improve road safety across the State is jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian Governments.
Perth, January 8, 2021