McGowan Government secures funding towards WA’s biggest-ever regional road safety initiative

  • McGowan Government secures Commonwealth funding for Regional Road Safety Program following strong campaign
  • State and Federal partnership established with $100 million to boost program
  • Significant boost to jobs in response to COVID-19 economic downturn with shovel ready projects to begin across Western Australia
  • Road safety treatments to be rolled out across WA, potentially saving hundreds of lives
  • Program recognised by Infrastructure Australia as a high priority initiative  
  • The McGowan Government has successfully secured a funding partnership with the Commonwealth Government to boost the Regional Road Safety Improvement Program.

    Western Australia put the program on the national agenda, with the Premier writing to the Prime Minister and the Transport Minister raising the issue at national meetings, while many State Members of Parliament wrote to their Federal counterparts calling for the funding.

    For the first time, the Commonwealth Government has allocated $80 million to the program in 2020-21, with the State Government contributing its annual $20 million.

    The program will be delivered immediately in 2020-21 and will see around 1,400 kilometres of roads treated, with shoulder sealing and audible edge lines being installed in every region of WA.

    These treatments greatly reduce the number of ‘run off road’ crashes, which can result in severe trauma and are more common in regional areas. Modelling undertaken using roads where the same safety treatments have been introduced shows the strategy could reduce road trauma in regional WA by 60 per cent.

    The project will provide a much needed boost to local economies, creating local job opportunities for shovel ready road projects.

    The State Government will continue to campaign for the Commonwealth to allocate funding for an additional eight years of the program, which if funded, would see more than 17,400 kilometres of regional road upgraded with low cost treatments.

    The safety program was listed on Infrastructure Australia’s 2020 Infrastructure Priority List.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “Our Government has been successful in making the case for regional road safety to be recognised by Infrastructure Australia as an issue of national significance.

    “We have strongly advocated for a funding partnership for this important work and I am pleased we have negotiated an $80 million commitment from the Commonwealth Government for this program.

    “This is potentially the beginning of an important long term program for regional road safety.

    “Now, more than ever, it is vital that we continue to support job-creating projects in our regions as we recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

    As stated by Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:

    “Each year the WA Government spends a significant proportion of the Road Trauma Trust Account on regional road safety in particular the kinds of improvements done under this program.

    “We are really pleased to be able to transform that regular trickle of funding into a flood, providing local jobs for regional communities and making our roads safer.

    “I want to commend all of those who put their backs into supporting this project, particularly the hard work of the people at the Road Safety Commission.

    “So far this year, out of the more than 60 deaths in the State, roughly 60 per cent of those have been in regional and remote areas.

    “This highlights the nature of the problem which this program will help address.”

    As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

    “The significance of this initiative cannot be overstated. Over a period of nine years we are aiming to upgrade 17,400km of regional road – the equivalent distance of driving between Albany and Broome about seven times.

    “Single vehicle run-off crashes are a major cause of regional road trauma and the scale of this program is a huge step towards preventing deaths or serious injury on our road network.

    “The McGowan Government has worked hard to negotiate this partnership with the Federal Government and I would like to recognise the hard work undertaken by Main Roads in providing the analysis and submission for this program.

    “This is a landmark program for our State that is expected to save hundreds of lives in our regions while creating and supporting local jobs.

    “The program’s inclusion on the National Infrastructure Priority List is testament to its economic and road safety importance and we are keen to get this underway in the 2020-21 year.”

    Roads to receive safety treatments:

    RoadTotal crashes over past five years

    Albany-Lake Grace Highway

    (approx. 50 km)

    19

    Albany Highway

    (approx. 50km near Kojonup & between Mount Barker & Albany)

    74

    South Coast Highway

    (approx. 5 km between Albany & King River)

    17

    South Western Highway

    (approx. 20 km in length, west of Albany)

    42

    Albany Highway

    (approx. 15km length immediately south of the dual carriageway near Bedfordale)

    24

    Great Eastern Highway

    (approx. 35km section east of Ghooli)

    45

    Brookton Highway

    (approx. 90km section west of Brookton)

    91

    Goomalling-Merredin Road

    (approx. 40km section)

    20

    Great Eastern Highway

    (approx. 90km section between Kellerberrin and Walgoolan)

    38

    Northam-Cranbrook Road

    (section of approx. 30km)

    54

    Northam-Toodyay Road

    (section of approx. 20km)

    17

    York-Merredin Road

    (section of approx. 45km)

    6

    Boyanup-Picton Road

    (section of approx. 10km)

    33

    Collie Mumballup Road

    (section of approx. 6km)

    2

    Coalfields Highway 

    (section of approx. 10km between Roelands and Worsley)

    23

    South Western Highway

    (various sections totalling approx. 90km)

    214

    Eyre Highway

    (installation of approx. 240km of audible edge lines east of Norseman)

    45

    Great Northern Highway

    (sections totalling approx. 100km)

    7

    Brand Highway

    (30km section between Cooljarloo and Badgingarra)

    17

    Indian Ocean Drive

    (section totalling approx. 30km)

    28

    Burkett Road

    (approx. 75km between North West Coastal Highway & Minilya-Exmouth Road)

    8

    Great Northern Highway

    (sections totalling around 75km)

    10

    Great Northern Highway

    (section of approx. 70km west of Newman)

    13

    Point Sampson Road

    (section of approx. 15km between Point Sampson and North West Coastal Highway)

    28

    Northam-Cranbrook Road

    (section of approx. 20km between Broomehill-Jerramungup Road and Tambellup)

    14

    Albany Highway

    (approx. 100km section north of Williams)

    163

    Sues Road

    (sections totally approx. 50km)

    57

    Muir Highway

    (10km section west of Albany Highway)

    4

    Brockman Highway

    (sections totally approx. 25km)

    5

    Vasse Road

    (various sections totalling approx. 50km)

    25

    /Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.