26/05/2011 - 00:00

Budget gives nod to big city, land projects

26/05/2011 - 00:00


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Construction and land development in Western Australia were granted a few green lights in the state budget handed down by the Barnett government last week, as plans to expand the city create a likely list of tenders up for grabs.

Construction and land development in Western Australia were granted a few green lights in the state budget handed down by the Barnett government last week, as plans to expand the city create a likely list of tenders up for grabs.

The Perth Waterfront Project and Perth City Link are new major social infrastructure developments, designed to boost the appeal of the city, both for those who inhabit it and potential tourists.

The state government announced in the budget it would allocate $368.8 million to the Waterfront Project over five years. However, the total expenditure, according to the Department of Planning, was earmarked to be $440 million over 10 years.

The actual cost of the project to the government will be $270 million over the next 10 years, after revenue offsets from land sales are taken into account.

The preparation of the development sites for the project is scheduled to begin early next year, after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is over, and due to be completed by mid-2014.

The budget papers disclose the Water Corporation and Western Power will also contribute to the project.

The Water Corp will spend $8.9 million next financial year to replace and relocate an existing water main from the project site and install a second one to keep up with the supply needed for the expected growth of the city.

Western Power will carry out substation work worth $15 million in 2014-15 to accommodate the increased power demands associated with the project.

The Perth City Link project gained some extra funding in the budget, specifically to get the City Square development under way.

The government will provide $57 million over the next four years to accelerate the project.

City Square will consist of commercial, residential and public spaces that will sit above the sunken railway, between Northbridge and the city. It will also house the access opening to the new underground transport services.

The funding is in addition to the $226 million provided by the state for the sinking of the railway line between Perth Station and Milligan Street and the construction of a new underground Wellington Street Bus Station.

The East Perth Redevelopment Authority (EPRA) has allocated $5.7 million this year for revised financial forecasts for its key projects, including land acquisitions in the Riverside project area.

Riverside will utilise the four-hectare riverfront site next to the WACA and the Causeway. Forward works have started and EPRA will decide who the developer is by the middle of this year.

The budget revealed that funding for several projects was restricted to planning activities.

An amount of $13 million has been allocated over the next two years for early planning of a new sports stadium, including concept, design and cost estimations and identifying a preferred site, tipped to be Burswood.

Funding for the construction of the stadium has not been mentioned in the budget, as the concept is still in its early stages. Another $2 million will be used for planning a new purpose-built centre for the Western Australian Institute of Sport.

An extra $5 million will be spent on further planning for a new museum, set to be built in the Perth Cultural Centre precinct. This is in addition to the $5 million previously allocated.

Social housing construction has been allocated a total of $217 million, including $150.7 million over three years to provide 284 homes for people with disabilities, mental illness, or significant alcohol and drug-related difficulties. $98 million of this funding will be used in the first year to build 198 of the planned dwellings.

There have been a number of increases in funding for major health infrastructure, including an allocation of $71 million to upgrade small hospitals and nursing posts in regional WA. The construction and redevelopment of health infrastructure in the Great Southern, Mid West, South West and Wheatbelt regions is going full steam ahead, with $298 million in funding over the next four years, as part of the Royalties for Regions scheme.

In the education sector, four new primary schools – East Dalyellup, Pearsall, Baynton West (Karratha) and West Byford – will be constructed at a total cost of $69 million. All will be completed for opening in 2013.

The government will also spend $111 million on four high school developments in Karratha, Dongara, Bullsbrook and Exmouth.

Accommodation upgrades to Narrogin, Cunderdin, Morawa and Denmark Agricultural Colleges will cost the state $18 million and a further $25 million will fund infrastructure additions at Harvey Agricultural College.

An additional $77 million will be spent on the planning and construction of schools over the next four years. Two new high schools will open in 2017 and 2018, four new primary schools are to open in 2016 and capacity will be increased at Dalyellup Secondary College.



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