Re­worked con­tracts for re­gional road care

Narrogin Observer - - Observer News - Tayler Neale

The State Gov­ern­ment is in the process of re­work­ing a num­ber of long-term road maintenance con­tracts in the Great South­ern that it hopes will im­prove road con­di­tions, re­duce costs and gen­er­ate lo­cal em­ploy­ment.

The new con­tracts will in­volve pub­lic ten­ders for re­sources and labour rather than the cur­rent al­len­com­pass­ing con­tracts.

Min­is­ter for Trans­port Rita Saf­fi­oti said the changes would pro­vide a host of ben­e­fits.

“Main Roads is cur­rently ne­go­ti­at­ing sev­eral new long-term maintenance and mi­nor works con­tracts for West­ern Aus­tralia,” she said

“The new style of con­tracts will en­able Main Roads to di­rectly con­trol the road net­work, re­build­ing key strate­gic ca­pa­bil­i­ties that were pre­vi­ously out­sourced.

“The pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion of In­te­grated Ser­vice Ar­range­ments, im­ple­mented in 2011, were all en­com­pass­ing con­tracts founded on a ‘cost plus mar­gin’ pay­ment.”

Ms Saf­fi­oti said ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est have been con­ducted for the South West and the Great South­ern re­gions with those con­tracts worth about $400 mil­lion over five years.

“A key fo­cus of the con­tract changes will be on pub­licly ten­dered rates for re­sources and work, in or­der to re­duce over­heads and cre­ate lo­cal jobs,” she said.

“They will also place a stronger em­pha­sis on ac­count­abil­i­ties and com­mer­cial fo­cus.

“A to­tal of eight com­pa­nies lodged an ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est and th­ese are be­ing as­sessed.

“A new con­tract will be awarded prior to the ex­ist­ing maintenance con­tract ex­pir­ing in June 2018.”

Main Roads re­cently un­der­took in­spec­tions on Al­bany High­way near Arthur River af­ter a Mitchell’s Trans­port truck aqua­planed across the road.

The com­pany’s owner de­scribed the con­di­tion of that sec­tion of road as sim­i­lar to “black ice”.

“Weekly in­spec­tions of Al­bany High­way are un­der­taken and our maintenance crews un­der­take re­pair works where nec­es­sary,” a Main Roads spokesman said.

“We have not re­ceived an in­crease in no­ti­fi­ca­tions of in­ci­dents on Al­bany High­way, how­ever, fol­low­ing th­ese con­cerns, we will ar­range to un­der­take fur­ther in­spec­tions.”

The Al­bany High­way near Arthur River, de­scribed as sim­i­lar to driv­ing on black ice be­cause of its con­di­tion.

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