ROADS, SCHOOL GIVEN FUNDING
DESPITE vocally lamenting the sorry state of WA’s finances for months in the lead up to his first budget, Treasurer Ben Wyatt has still found room in the books for many of Labor’s election promises to the southern suburbs.
Within the City of Melville, the previously announced Murdoch Drive Connection has been funded and close to $10 million will be spent in 2017-18 to establish the state’s first alcohol and drug rehabilitation prison at Wandoo, which the State Government hopes will help to reduce reoffending rates.
Melville Senior High School is in line for a $4.5 million cash injections to upgrade its performing arts centre.
On the community facilities front, the State Government has delivered on its promise to hand $1.8 million to the Fremantle Netball Association for upgrades to Gibson Park.
The money is included in the budget for 2017-18 and will be used to extend the main pavilion, enclose the show courts and provide more seating for spectators.
The Local Projects, Local Jobs program will spread just over $110,000 to a number of grassroots clubs and organisations, headlined by $55,000 for IT upgrades at Melville Cares and $25,000 to the Stock Road Seniors Citizens Centre for new equipment.
Just under $1 million will also go towards restoration projects by volunteer groups for the Swan and Canning Rivers.
Ambitious infrastructure project Metronet was the centrepiece of Labor’s election campaign and the State Government has not backed down on its commitment, setting aside $423 million to extend the Thornlie line to Cockburn.
The project includes the construction of two new stations at Nicholson Road and Ranford Road, including park and ride facilities and bus interchanges, with the heavy spending beginning from 2018-19 and continuing all the way through until 2022.
Commuters through Perth’s south-east can look forward to some relief with $70 million set aside to begin work on removing the rail level crossing at Denny Avenue in Kelmscott, a notorious hot spot for congestion, by the end of 2020.
Matching a Liberal Party commitment, Labor promised a new southbound on-ramp to the Kwinana Freeway at Manning Road and that pledge appears to have been honoured, with $35 million set aside for the project between now and 2020.
It is contingent on securing majority funding from the Federal Government however.
Bringing its plan for freight into sharper focus, the State Government has also allocated $19.4 million over the forward estimates to increase the value of the Fremantle Container Rail Service Subsidy to $50 per container from the start of the next year.
It will also spend $6 million to progress planning for an outer harbour at Kwinana.