Eric Ripper

Eric Ripper

Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for State Development

    State Budget 2008-09: Building WA - Capital Works

    8/05/2008 12:00 AM

    A massive $26.1billion capital works program that will continue the Carpenter Government’s intensive building program across the State, is the centrepiece of the 2008-09 State Budget, Treasurer Eric Ripper said today.


    Mr Ripper said the State Government would invest a record $7.6billion in 2008-09 to provide key infrastructure to help ensure Western Australia’s spectacular economic growth was sustained.


    “We are committed to building Western Australia,” he said.


    “To that end, we continue implementing our record capital works program that will see $26.1billion invested in our State over the next four years.”


    The Treasurer said the program would include:


    ·         $1.2billion on electricity infrastructure, focusing on safety and reliability and meeting the needs of the State’s fast-growing economy, including commencement of a $295million 330KV transmission line between Pinjar and Moonyoonooka near Geraldton and $50million over four years to enable Verve Energy to initiate renewable energy projects;


    ·         $1.1billion on water, wastewater and drainage infrastructure, including commencement of the $955million Southern Seawater Desalination Plant, and ongoing water and waste management programs, including infill sewerage;


    ·         $810million to expand, maintain and improve the State’s road network, with major projects including the New Perth to Bunbury Highway (total cost $705million), Stage 2 of the Geraldton Southern Transport Corridor, and completion of the Mitchell Freeway extension from Hodges Drive to Burns Beach Road;


    ·         $502million on improving health infrastructure, including commencement of construction of the $1.76billion Fiona Stanley Hospital and continuation of works on the Rockingham Kwinana Hospital and the Hedland Regional Resource Centre Hospital;


    ·         $377million on upgrades and improvements to port facilities to further enhance the State’s export capacity, including works on a $126million project to deepen the Fremantle Inner Harbour, and development of a multi-user berth and bulk handling facility at Utah Point in Port Hedland;


    ·         $347 million on schools and education facilities, including Karratha Senior High School Years 10-12, continued redevelopment of the Perth campus of Central TAFE, and commencement of planning for a $63million school to replace the current Governor Stirling Senior High School; and


    ·         $211million on police, prison and other law and order-related projects, including continuation of works on the $93million Perth Police Complex and the $38million Police and Justice Complex in Carnarvon.


    “On a comparable basis, the Carpenter Government’s direct spend on infrastructure in 2008‑09 is nearly 50 per cent per capita more than the average of the other States,” Mr Ripper said.


    However, the Treasurer said the State Government’s capital works program extended beyond just the 2008-09 financial year.


    “We are investing $1.07billion over the next eight years to build a new major sports stadium at Kitchener Park, replacing Subiaco Oval as the premier sporting venue in the State, with a capacity of 60,000 seats and the potential for expansion to 70,000 seats,” he said.


    Mr Ripper said the sports stadium investment would also include the upgrade of surrounding infrastructure to make the stadium more accessible.


    “This Budget allocates $334million over the forward estimates period to enable the Government to get on with this massive project,” he said.


    In addition to the stadium, the Carpenter Government had committed a total of $506million, including $52 million over the forward estimates, to build a new museum on the site of the former East Perth Power Station.


    The Treasurer said the museum would showcase WA’s history, indigenous heritage and unique environment, with construction to commence in 2012.


    “These projects reflect Perth’s growing economy and thriving culture and it is in this environment that the Government has announced its plans to redevelop key aspects of the City and Swan River foreshore, bringing it into the 21st century,” he said.


    The Perth Waterfront project to transform the Esplanade and foreshore between William Street and Barrack Square is in its planning stages.  The Government had committed $319million to the cost of the first stage, which was due to commence in 2011-12 following public consultation.


    Mr Ripper said the State Government had also invested $9million to develop the land between the Perth Arena and the Entertainment Centre as part of The Link project.


    “These projects will transform the face of the city into an exciting business, tourism, residential and entertainment precinct for locals and tourists alike,” he said.


    The Treasurer said delivering so many iconic projects on time and on budget would be difficult in the current economic climate but the Government was being realistic.


    “Last February we established the Office of Strategic Projects to oversee the delivery of significant, complex capital works projects,” he said.


    Mr Ripper said the State Government had also committed $15million to expand the Ord River Irrigation Area.


    He said the expansion project would deliver about 14,000 hectares of agricultural land, virtually doubling the size of the existing Ord River Irrigation Area.


    The expansion of land will include the potential development of the Packsaddle area, as well as about:


    ·         1,300ha in the Ord West Bank area;

    ·         4,000ha in the Mantinea area; and

    ·         8,000ha in the M2 area.


    The project will be implemented in stages, with the $15million being used to provide road infrastructure which is necessary for the West Bank area to be developed. 


    Mr Ripper also announced that the Government would shortly release the State Infrastructure Strategy - a plan that would identify and prioritise WA’s infrastructure needs for the next 20 years.


    “The State Infrastructure Strategy was developed with input from a team of industry and business leaders, and will provide direction and coherence to the State Government’s capital investment choices,” he said.


    “It will also promote jobs and investment growth by providing greater certainty about the nature, timing and location of significant infrastructure projects.”


    Treasurer's office - 9222 8788