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The Western Australian infrastructure projects the Morrison Government will commit $1.3 billion to in next week’s Budget are directly linked to our strategy of driving economic recovery by creating jobs.
We know through our long history of backing big projects in WA and around the country that they deliver thousands of jobs.
Over the life of the new projects that we’ve backed in the Budget we expect that 4000 direct and indirect jobs will be supported in Western Australia.
When completed the projects will provide the vital infrastructure that keeps West Australians safe, gets them home sooner from work by busting congestion and makes the transport links for our industry and business community smoother, quicker, safer and more efficient.
I am particularly pleased that the funding will help better connect regional Western Australia, the backbone of our State and powerhouse of our economy.
We are putting $160 million towards the WA Agricultural Supply Chain Improvements project which will better connect our world-class farmers to domestic and international markets.
The project includes a series of rail upgrades and adjustments to local roads that will allow longer trains to load grain and those trains to move more quickly in and out of the Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions.
This is vital work to make sure our grain growers can get their products to market as quickly as possible, particularly those competing on the world market.
By helping to make this industry more efficient and competitive we are confident that further benefits will flow to the State and the nation including long term job increases and more export revenue.
Other regional projects also include the Great Northern Highway between Broome and Kununurra and the Jurien Bay to Brand Highway, Indian Ocean Drive project, vital for the safety and convenience of travellers on that busy road.
In the city we are continuing the Federal Government’s support of METRONET rail by pumping almost $380 million into three key projects. METRONET is the sort of infrastructure that will serve WA long into the future and make Perth a more liveable city and a more efficient city to do business in.
Another vital project is in the Perth Airport Precinct where $85 million will deliver a new interchange at the Great Eastern Highway Bypass/Kalamunda Road intersection and Kalamunda Road bridge over rail to replace the existing bridge with a four lane bridge.
The $1.3 billion commitment in next week’s Budget builds on $1.1 billion in transport infrastructure that we delivered to WA in last October’s Budget.
Our Government has had a long term commitment to helping build WA for the future and create jobs on the ground. This has always been done in co-operation with the State Government.
Since being elected in 2013, and including this latest commitment in next week’s Budget, we have delivered more than $16.7 billion in vital infrastructure funding to Western Australia.
Just last year the Morrison Government backed the $1.5 billion Perth City Deal which will truly change the face of our city.
The centrepiece project of the City Deal is the Edith Cowan University plan to build their Cultural and Creative Industries CBD Campus.
This project is one of the most exciting to be undertaken in our city and will the world renown WA Academy of Performing Arts into the city alongside programs in technology, industry and creativity and the school of Business and Law and advanced technology and cyber security centre.
It will deliver a new vibrancy to the centre of the city with hundreds of live performances by WAAPA students each year, many of them free.
Importantly there will 3000 jobs during construction and 380 ongoing jobs after the campus is up and running. There will be 9000 students on campus when it opens in 2025 and that will grow to over 11,000 in 2034, which will provide a massive boost to inner city businesses.
The Perth City Deal, just like the infrastructure funding for WA in next week’s Budget, is very much part of our plan to prioritise job creation and drive the unemployment rate lower.
From the outset of the COVID 19 crisis our Government focused on limiting the damage to the jobs market.
We provided an unprecedented $250 billion in direct support, including Jobkeeper, to protect vulnerable households, save Australian businesses and jobs.
There is no doubt that support has been an overwhelming success in supporting Australians in their time of need.
But the Morrison Government will continue to work hard to drive unemployment down and get more people into jobs.
That’s what our commitment to these infrastructure projects in WA is all about. The money we spend will get more West Australians into jobs over the life of the projects and into the long term and build a better State for us all to live in.
I know this is the best place in the world to live and the Morrison Government is committed to making it even better.
By Senator Michaelia Cash, Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations