- McGowan Government returning road maintenance staff in-house to Main Roads
- 41 road maintenance workers in Wheatbelt become first to transition
- Change will create 660 permanent jobs, including 490 in regional WA
- Initiative will save more than $25 million a year through a more streamlined process
- Workers directly employed by Main Roads will receive better pay and conditions
- Will create more training opportunities and establish additional regional depots
A total of 41 contractors in the State's Wheatbelt region have today transitioned to full time employment with Main Roads.
The workers are the first to transition to Main Roads, as part of a major initiative announced by the State Government in April to return road maintenance jobs in-house.
The move will create an estimated 660 permanent jobs within Main Roads, including 490 in regional WA.
The decision to move road maintenance jobs in-house came after detailed analysis undertaken by Ernst and Young highlighted numerous benefits, including:
- increased job opportunities and economic growth in the regions
- enhanced Aboriginal employment and engagement outcomes
- improved education uptake
- increased capacity and capability of Main Roads
Road maintenance contracts have been outsourced by Main Roads since 2000. Under the current arrangement, there are five network maintenance contractors engaged by Main Roads, delivering more than $400 million of maintenance and improvement works throughout the State each year.
Once fully implemented across the State, the initiative will result in savings of more than $25 million a year, producing major economic benefits and increased employment opportunities for regional WA, including increasing gross regional product by up to $335 million over the next 10 years.
Road workers employed directly by Main Roads will receive better pay and conditions, including increased paid leave and long service leave after seven years, as well as additional training opportunities.
As part of the changes, the Government has also announced $48.8 million will be invested over the next six years on new regional staff housing, depots and offices. The investment will be funded from operational savings realised through the change.
The first two network contracts to conclude and transition to in-house delivery by Main Roads are Wheatbelt Region – today - and Mid-West Gascoyne Region on November 7, 2022.
The last region will be the Kimberley, which will be brought in-house when the current contract ends in January 2026.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"The Wheatbelt region is the first in the State to transition to an in-house road maintenance model, and for the communities in this part of our State, it is a big win for jobs and economic prosperity.
"Not only will workers receive better pay and conditions, but we'll also have more people living and working in regional communities.
"Bringing road maintenance in-house will deliver significant benefits for WA, with estimated savings of around $25 million each year, as well as improved expertise and knowledge within Main Roads.
"As part of the transition to in-house road maintenance, we will be investing nearly $50 million over the next six years on new regional staff housing, depots and offices – highlighting our commitment to regional communities.
"The next region to transition to in-house delivery will be the Mid-West Gascoyne on November 7, with most other regions to transition progressively between October 2023 and February 2024 as their network contracts conclude. The last region will be the Kimberley, which will be brought in-house when the current contract ends in January 2026."
Minister's office - 6552 5500