More than $1 billion has been allocated towards Darling Range infrastructure in the McGowan Labor Government’s latest Budget to ensure locals have the infrastructure they need for the future.
The Budget includes record funding to build vital infrastructure such as roads, rail and schools – which will also serve as major job creators into the future.
Households in the Darling Range electorate will also receive a $600 credit on their electricity bill by the end of the year, as part of the unprecedented $644 million WA Household Electricity Credit.
The area will also benefit from the McGowan Government’s major announcement to recruit 800 more police officers, on top of the 300 new police officers already being delivered.
Meanwhile, the McGowan Government is progressing a range of major infrastructure projects for Darling Range, including the flagship METRONET Byford Rail Extension (currently in procurement) and the Tonkin Highway Extension (awaiting Federal environmental assessment).
- $52 million to kick-start the METRONET Byford Rail Extension with Thomas Road Bridge level crossing removal;
- $1.39 billion towards Tonkin Highway Corridor upgrades, including the 14km Tonkin Highway Extension from Thomas Road to South Western Highway;
- $144.6 million for removal of level crossings, including the underway Denny Avenue Level Crossing Removal Project in Kelmscott;
- $8 million for upgrading Thomas Road from Kwinana Freeway to Nicholson Road;
- $5 million for Thomas and Anketell Roads Freight Upgrade – Stages 1 and 2 planning;
- $20 million for the construction of a recreation precinct at Keirnan Park in Mundijong;
- $3 million for a Principal Shared Path along Soldiers Road between Byford and Mundijong;
- $22.6 million towards replacing the Armadale TAFE campus, serving Darling Range residents;
- $5 million for maintenance, upgrades or refurbishments of local schools through the $200 million School Maintenance Blitz program – the highest allocation in the metropolitan area;
- $8 million to upgrade Kelmscott, Cannington and Gosnells stations to ensure they comply with the Disability Discrimination Act;
- $2 million for a new classroom block for West Byford Primary School, replacing transportables; and
- $350,000 for upgrades to buildings, new facilities and services in Serpentine National Park.
Western Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has positioned the economy to rebound faster and stronger than first expected, with the State Budget revealing the local economy is expected to grow by 1.25 per cent in 2020-21.
In 2019-20, Western Australia was the only State to record positive growth in the domestic economy, despite the significant impact of the pandemic.
To provide support for local businesses in Darling Range to bounce back from the pandemic and support jobs, the WA Recovery Plan included a number of measures, including:
- a one-off $2,500 electricity credit available for small businesses and charities that consume less than 50 megawatt hours per annum;
- $484 million in payroll tax relief for Western Australian businesses, including a one-off $17,500 grant for some small businesses, payroll tax exemptions and a four-month payroll tax waiver;
- $20,000 building bonus and extension of the off-the-plan transfer duty rebate to kick-start the building industry;
- a waiver of small business licence fees; and
- rent relief for commercial tenants of government agencies.
More jobs are expected to be created through the McGowan Government’s record-breaking Asset Investment Program, which totals $27.1 billion over the next four years.
Job creation is being further supported through measures to reskill the workforce by providing assistance, through reduced fees and free short courses, for people to attend upgraded TAFE colleges.
As stated by Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
“The suburbs of Darling Range are integral to the WA Recovery Plan, which is central to the McGowan Government’s 2020-21 Budget.
“It is a fast-growing heartland that will be at the forefront of economic recovery through new home builds, road and rail infrastructure construction and investment in essential services.
“Through this Budget, we continue to deliver on our priorities including providing cost of living relief to households, training our citizens, keeping our communities safe and supporting those who are vulnerable.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“Households in the Darling Range are big winners in the State Budget.
“Strong leadership during the pandemic has put WA in a good position to respond to the largest global economic shock in nearly 100 years.
“By keeping WA safe and strong, the State is now well-placed to recover from COVID-19 stronger than ever.
“A key part of this is the huge pipeline of works planned for the Darling Range area – from transformational road and rail projects to meaningful upgrades at local schools.”