New government must do to fund WA infrastructure says peak body

In its 2019-20 Federal Budget last month, the Commonwealth Government allocated $1.6 billion of its $40 billion infrastructure budget to projects in WA.

This allocation includes additional funding of $348.5 million for the Tonkin Highway, $207.5 million for the removal of the Oats Street/Welshpool Road/Mint Street Level Crossing, $140 million for the Albany Ring Road and $115 million for the Fremantle Traffic Bridge, a crossing over the Swan River. A further $122 million was allocated to stages 2 and 3 of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project[i].

Real Estate of Western Australia (REIWA) President Damian Collins said this was just another example of WA not being given its fair share of funding.

“The $1.6 billion allocation is a mere 4% of Australia’s total $40 billion budget. Our state is home to 10% of Australians, and we currently account for 15% of the country’s GSP. WA should receive at least the same percentage in federal infrastructure funding to ensure we have the means to keep driving Australia’s economy forward,” Damian said.

WA is currently the only state without an independent infrastructure body, tasked with the planning and prioritising of significant projects. Damian elaborated, “The WA Government has done its part to ensure we get a fair share of funding through the establishment of Infrastructure WA. 

“The Infrastructure WA Bill is currently before the WA Parliament. If this Bill is passed, it will enable an independent body to be established and a long-term infrastructure strategy to be put in place. 

“While the strategy will ensure WA gets its fair share of funding in the future, this is still some years from being a reality. In the meantime, the newly elected Federal Government must ensure WA receives adequate funding,” Damian said.

[i] https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/releases/2019/april/budget-infra_01-2019.aspx