A new report by Access Economics has underlined the strength of Western Australia’s investment boom, with a big increase in the value of projects under construction or planned.Access said the value of WA projects “under construction” increased by five per cent last year to $13.9 billion. The value of “committed” projects jumped by 20 per cent to $6.5 billion. In addition, Access has listed another $40 billion worth of projects that are “under consideration” and $43 billion worth of “possible” projects. Acting Treasurer John Kobelke said the value of current and potential projects in WA was well ahead of all other states. Major projects currently under way include the North West Shelf venture’s $2 billion phase 5 expansion, BHP Billiton’s $1.4 billion Ravensthorpe nickel project, Hamersley Iron’s $980 million upgrade of its Dampier Port facilities and the State Government’s $1.5 billion New MetroRail project. Mr Kobelke said the state’s investment in infrastructure would help to support WA’s economic growth. However, with so many projects under consideration, some may be adversely affected by skills shortages and rising costs. These factors have already led to the deferral of several smaller projects in the gold sector, where commodity prices have been relatively static.