03/08/2020 - 14:30

WA schools get $320m boost

03/08/2020 - 14:30

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The state government has unveiled details of several infrastructure packages as part of the WA Recovery Fund, including a further $319.2 million in school upgrades.

WA schools get $320m boost
Mark McGowan says the schools funding will boost local jobs and deliver exceptional learning facilities. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The state government has unveiled details of several infrastructure packages as part of the WA Recovery Fund, including a further $319.2 million in school upgrades.

The package will benefit 63 public schools around Western Australia, with $201.2 million to go towards 46 metropolitan schools.

That includes $32 million for Carine Senior High School, $18.3 million for Lynwood Senior High School and $16 million for Joseph Banks Secondary College in Banksia Grove.

New sports halls, classrooms, specialist facilities and refurbishments are included in the upgrades, with the works to be carried out over the next four years.

The package brings the state government's total infrastructure spend on schools under the WA Recovery Fund to $492.2 million, which Premier Mark McGowan said would boost local jobs and deliver exceptional learning facilities for students.

Master Builders Association of WA chief executive John Gelavis said the organisation had been encouraging the state government to "fire up" infrastucture projects.

"The rising swell of confidence, supported by visible infrastucture work as well as state and federal home building grants, should see building activity lift through to the end of the year and beyond," he said.

"The school upgrade package promises work for 1,850 brickies, electricians, plumbers and other tradies and apprentices."

Mr Gelavis said construction work had a multiplier effect that flowed through to local businesses and communities.

The state government is also spending $11 million on two coastal infrastructure projects, with $9.69 million to replace the Woodman Point Jetty in Coogee and $1.3 million for planning the Tantabiddi boat ramp development in Exmouth.

The funding forms part of the recently-announced $170 million infrastructure package – included in the state's $5.5 billion COVID Recovery Fund.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti says the two coastal projects would create jobs and provide better tourism-related facilities.

“The Woodman Point Jetty has been a hugely popular attraction for many decades, and we want to ensure that continues with a modern standard, safer structure,” she said.

The funding for the Woodman Point Jetty will cover both the demolition of the old structure and construction of a newer, safer jetty for recreational use.

Meanwhile the Tantabiddi boat ramp, which frequently operates at capacity, will require more launching lanes in the coming years to manage the forecast growth in boating and tourism.

“As a major gateway to the world-renowned Ningaloo Reef, there are a lot of exciting opportunities for locals and tourists once this facility is in place,” Ms Saffioti said.

Sport and community infrastructure will also benefit from the WA Recovery Fund, receiving $130 million and $170 million in funding, respectively.

The sports infrastructure boost includes $30 million to redevelop the WACA Ground, with the East Perth site to receive a public pool, and $16.25 million to develop the new State Football Centre in Queens Park.

The community infrastructure funding includes $20 million for a recreation precinct at Kerinan Park in Mundijong, and $10 million each for a community swimming pool in Alkimos and an indoor recreation centre in Baldivis.

Mr McGowan said the upgrades would help reconnect communities, increase participation for local sporting organisations and create local jobs.

He said the WA Recovery Plan would ensure the state rebounded from COVID-19.

“It will create short and long term jobs in construction, as well as other sectors such as tourism, training, education and renewable energy,” the premier said.

The state government also recently announced a $3.08 million investment to complete the final stage of the Margaret River Main Street upgrade, with South West-based Busselton Civil and Plant Hire appointed as lead contractor.

The overall project includes a festival precinct, safer intersections, cycle lanes and new paving. It has created around 90 jobs so far.

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