This financial year will see more than $250 million in road safety upgrades across 4000 kilometres of regional Western Australian roads.
Through the Regional Road Safety Program these upgrades will make use of low cost treatments, such as sealing existing unsealed shoulders and installing audible edge or centre lines to improve road safety.
Jointly funded by the Federal and Western Australian governments an initial $100 million worth of works are already underway with a further $158 million to be spent by the end of the financial year.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Federal 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.”
McCormack said 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 ‘use it or lose it’ model requires the state’s to use their allocated funds within a timeframe or the funds can be used by other states.
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,” 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.”
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,” 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.”
Notable projects funded through the program include, $8 million in upgrades to the Great Northern Highway, $7 million for the North West Coastal Highway and $5 million for the Albany Highway in Wagin.
The $455 million commitment to improve road safety across the State is jointly funded by the Federal and Western Australian Governments.