The ability of Western Australian industry to win major construction contracts has been boosted with the State Government’s decision to spend $22million improving WA roads, to enable easier transport for large heavy loads.
State Development Minister Alan Carpenter said the funding would be allocated in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and would expand the State’s High Wide Load Corridor* (HWLC) Network between the metropolitan area and the State’s South-West.
Mr Carpenter said the funding would be used to complete the corridor which linked the Kwinana and Kewdale industrial areas.
In addition, a new southern extension to the corridor, which currently linked the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson with Kwinana, would be initiated when the next major project in the South-West was confirmed.
Improvements will involve essential clearance work including the relocation of powerlines and intersection clearance. Bridge strengthening, traffic operations, shoulder widening and the provision of holding bays will also form part of the major works.
“The Gallop Government is committed to maximising the opportunities for local businesses to win major projects, through the provision of infrastructure such as High Wide Load Corridors to support local industry capability,” the Minister said.
“The improved road network will help strengthen the competitiveness of WA’s manufacturing, heavy engineering and fabrication industry when tendering for significant resource and defence contracts.
“The expansion will also help WA keep pace with the trend in major construction projects, which is moving away from the traditional on-site fabrication towards the use of large prefabricated modules.”
Mr Carpenter said the improved HWLC network would enhance opportunities for local industry to win fabrication work generated by major resource projects such as the $11billion Gorgon gas project and construction of the North West Shelf Venture’s $2billion LNG Train 5.
The link would also boost the chances of WA industry to compete for fabrication work expected from the $6billion Air Warfare Destroyer project recently won by South Australia.
The Minister said $2million spent in 2002 on creating the High Wide Load Corridor between Kwinana and Henderson had already significantly reduced transport costs for fabricators and contributed to the overall competitiveness of the industry.
“The Kwinana-Henderson project has brought significant economic benefits to the State and has already paid for itself hundreds of times over,” he said.
“An 18-month study commissioned by Chamber of Commerce and Industry listed a range of economic spin-offs, including 3,145 full-time jobs being created or maintained and the injection of $233million into the State’s economy through the use of the Kwinana-Henderson corridor.
“The much larger expansion of the network announced today is expected to enable WA industry to meet the increasing demand for large prefabricated products more readily and competitively.”
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*High Wide Loads are defined as loads that are up to eight metres high, eight metres wide and 24 metres long with a 200 tonne net load. A clearance ‘envelope’ of 10 metres high by 10 metres wide is applied to High Wide Load routes.