The McGowan Government has committed $80 million to upgrading and building road infrastructure across the Goldfields region, improving safety and creating local jobs.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti visited Kalgoorlie today to view the recently completed upgrades to the Great Eastern Highway duplication between Anzac Drive and Gatacre Drive, built at a cost of $21m and which generated 110 jobs.
This project was one of the McGowan Government’s election commitments and after many years of planning and nine months of construction this section of the highway has been upgraded from two single lanes to a four-lane dual carriageway.
More than 8,000 vehicles are benefitting from this upgrade daily, many of which are heavy vehicles.
While in Kalgoorlie the Minister will also visit and officially open the new Road Train Assembly Area, built at a cost of $1m in Coolgardie near the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Lady Loch Road. Construction works generated five direct jobs.
Lady Loch Road is used by a significant number of heavy vehicles transporting bulk mineral product to and from mines and processing plants located south of Coolgardie.
The rest facilities will be well received by truckers as well as provide additional parking area for vehicles impacted by road closures from natural disaster events such as fires and floods.
Other road projects underway or completed in the Goldfields region include:
- Completion of the $3.8m widening and sealing of 11km of Great Eastern Highway between Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie, funded from the Government’s Road Trauma Trust Account (up to 20 jobs created). Further widening and sealing works on Great Eastern Highway are expected to be completed in 2021-22;
- Reconstruction, overlay and widening of the Coolgardie Esperance Highway (Emu Rocks Section) between Kambalda and Widgiemooltha. This jointly-funded project reached a milestone with request for proposals from industry on June 9 (generating 207 jobs);
- A new pilot project will see the sealing of a five-kilometre stretch of the Goldfields Highway, between Wiluna to Meekatharra, beginning immediately west of Wiluna. Main Roads and DM Roads, have engaged with key stakeholders in the Wiluna area to plan the delivery of the project and maximise the employment of local Aboriginal businesses and people. A key component of the pilot project is the training of Aboriginal students at the Wiluna TAFE training facility, with input from Martu Elders, the Shire of Wiluna and other community leaders (the pilot is costing $1 million and will create five jobs); and
- Work is also about to commence on the $20m, 40km sealing of the Great Central Road, also known as Outback Way, by the Wongutha Way Alliance, a joint-venture between Carey MC Pty Ltd, Central Earthmoving Company Pty Ltd and Main Roads. The jointly-funded project will see Aboriginal people involved in construction works and other ongoing employment opportunities. It is expected this section will be sealed by June 2021 (100 jobs created).
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“I love visiting Kalgoorlie and seeing all the major road projects we have completed or underway.
“We currently have almost $80 million worth of road projects and upgrades either underway or completed, supporting local jobs and providing opportunities for local businesses.
“In particular I am proud of the focus we have on increasing Aboriginal employment and participation across our projects, providing training and apprenticeship opportunities.”
As stated by Mining and Pastoral MLC Kyle McGinn:
“It’s great to see the McGowan Government just consistently and continually investing in regional WA.
“These projects and upgrades are critical pieces of infrastructure and the McGowan Government has recognised the Goldfields need for further investment in this area.
“I strongly believe these projects will play a key part in bouncing back the economy due to the local jobs provided and local contractors benefitting from the work.
“I’m proud to be part of a Government that has focused on Aboriginal employment being part of these projects to ensure our First Nations people are not left out of the equation and to continue to bringing specific training and employment opportunities to all Goldfielders.
“I will continue to talk up the great investments regional WA receives from the McGowan Government. We are committed to regional WA and I look forward to seeing the completion of these $80m worth of projects and upgrades.”