31/07/2020 - 14:30

$350m for port, marine upgrades

31/07/2020 - 14:30

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The state government has continued the rollout of its COVID-19 recovery plan, announcing it will spend millions of dollars to upgrade port infrastructure across WA.

$350m for port, marine upgrades
Australian Marine Complex is set to undergo $88 million of major upgrades. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state government has continued the rollout of its COVID-19 recovery plan, announcing it will spend millions of dollars to upgrade port infrastructure across Western Australia.

That includes $88 million for the upgrade of the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, $159 million for ports and harbour improvements and $100 million for further industry developments.

In addition, $4 million will go towards preparing a feasibility study for upgrades at Port of Bunbury and Kwinana Bulk Terminal, to support the possible reopening of the Greenbushes rail line.

Renovations to the marine complex will include an extension and upgrade of its wharf, design of a new finger wharf, a new vessel transfer path, three road intersection upgrades and a new shipbuilding hall.

Those extensions will allow the complex to accommodate all Royal Australian Navy Vessels, including future Hunter class frigates, while design work is expected to support larger classes of naval vessels.

Today's announcement comes as the state government has made a concerted effort in recent years to secure full cycle docking of Collins-class submarines at the complex.

That work is currently undertaken in South Australia, and it is understood the federal government is disinclined to bring the work to WA due to the objections of South Australia Senator Rex Patrick, a key figure on the crossbench.

Bringing the maintenance work to WA is also thought to cost as much as $1 billion.

Premier Mark McGowan nevertheless said the works would improve WA's infrastructure over the short and long term to aid in its recovery.

“Importantly, the infrastructure and planning upgrades will pave the way for further growth in commercial and industrial precincts, our defence, manufacturing, resources, exports and marine sectors,” Mr McGowan said.

"It's with this strong investment that will give the private industry some confidence that we have a robust recovery plan which we're implementing, and we hope this spurs the private sector into supporting the economic recovery efforts and that they push on with new projects and developments."

Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia said the works would strengthen the state’s capacity to deliver high-value, job-creating work.

“Defence contracts will provide the kind of long-term stimulus the state will need to support our economy as we manage the impacts of COVID-19,” Mr Papalia said.

“The state government is fast-tracking these projects to ensure we have the infrastructure in place to meet the needs of defence, and continue to enhance the AMC's reputation as Australia's key defence industry hub.”

The complete list of projects announced today are as follows:

  • $51 million for Pilbara's Nelson Point Tug Haven for retaining and sheet pile walls;
  • $31 million to resurface and upgrade the stockyard area, for structural repairs, electrical upgrades and a new Clinker Storage Facility at the Kwinana Bulk Terminal;
  • $20 million for Port Hedland's Inner Harbour for retaining and sea walls;
  • $20 million towards a Robotics and Automation physical test facility, as part of a 94-hectare precinct north of the current Neerabup industrial estate, to support research facilities;
  • $15 million for the Turkey Point access bridge at Bunbury Port, already announced;
  • $12 million towards works at the Geraldton Port and Fishing Boat Harbour to improve amenities and access as well as support export capability in the Main Harbour, already announced;
  • $10 million towards priority works at Esperance Port to increase import and export capacity; 
  • $8 million towards the implementation of the Murujuga Rock Arts strategy to progress more opportunities to unlock tourism potential and create jobs; 
  • $8 million to support the development of an LNG bunkering hub in the Pilbara, already announced;
  • $8 million to provide serviced land for businesses, supporting major projects in the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area;
  • $8 million to prepare and refurbish communications infrastructure networks within Bentley Technology Park;
  • $6 million to replace critical electrical infrastructure at the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and Commercial precinct. 
  • $4 million is being committed to prepare a feasibility study for upgrades and new infrastructure at the Port of Bunbury and Kwinana Bulk Terminal to support the possible reopening of the Greenbushes rail line.
  • $3 million towards a second road hopper to improve loading and logistics, and for fire and safety system upgrades and replacements at Bunbury Port;
  • $3 million towards refurbishments to the underdeck access and protective coating to extensions at the Broome Port Wharf;
  • $1 million to upgrade the Newman Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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