The budget, handed down yesterday by Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan, reinforces the government’s commitment to roads and transport, as well as a push for the future of electric vehicle ownership in Western Australia as part of its broader action plan on climate change.
Regional infrastructure also comes out a big winner, with a record $12 billion funding boost, including more than $4.2 billion in the Royalties for Regions program, and billions more across health and services.
The ongoing METRONET program remains a key focus for the State Government, with $6 billion allocated across 13 projects.
Two new projects funded include the Morrison Road Level Crossing Removal in Midland and the Canning Bridge Bus Interchange.
Several milestones have been detailed for the project for the next two years, including the opening of the Forrestfield-Airport Link, which will include new stations at the Airport, Redcliffe and High Wycombe; as well as the opening of Lakelands Station in mid-2023.
The WA Government has maintained its focus on roads, announcing a further $9 billion in road projects and upgrades.
“The $9 billion funding package includes $3.4 billion dedicated for road projects in the Perth metropolitan area, which will create thousands of local jobs and make it easier and safer for our communities,” the Premier said.
$5.6 million has also been allocated to the improvement and renewal of regional road infrastructure.
This includes funding for new projects including the Tanami Road sealing, Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation Stage 2 and Great Northern Highway Newman-Port Hedland overtaking lanes.
In addition to roads investment, the 2022-23 budget also includes $73 million for the Principle Shared Path program, which will see upgrades and extensions to Perth’s path network with a view to improve connectivity and amenity for cyclists and pedestrians.
The State Government has also announced a continued commitment to road safety in the Perth and Peel regions, allocating $16.2 million for the Safer Roads and Bridges Program, as well as $98 million for the Resealing Program.
The Regional Road Safety Program will also receive a further $159 million boost, with around 9,000 kilometres of regional roads to be upgraded by mid-2023.
The WA Government has also announced an almost $60 million to accelerate the use of electric and hydrogen powered vehicles, as part of its $1.25 billion Climate Action Fund.
The Clean Energy Car Fund will provide 10,000 rebates of $3,500 to buyers of new electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles up to the value of $70,000.
A further $22.6 million will be allocated to the expansion of the state’s electric vehicle charging network.
This will include $10 million in grants for not-for-profit and small to medium-sized business, as well as $5 million in grants for local governments to cover up to 50 per cent of the installation costs of charging infrastructure.
The State Government also plans to introduce a distance-based road user charge for low emissions vehicles commencing July 1, 2027.
Drivers of electric and hydrogen vehicles will be charged 2.5 cents per kilometre, while plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will attract a two cent per kilometre charge.
Adrian Dwyer, Chief Execute of infrastructure think tank Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, was encouraged by the Western Australian Government’s commitment to the future of electric vehicles.
“The Western Australian Government’s zero emission and road reform package strikes the right balance between encouraging EVs and making sure we can fund our roads for generations to come,” Dwyer said.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au