Westport On WA Infrastructure Strategy

Infrastructure WA has today released Foundations for a Stronger Tomorrow, its first draft State Infrastructure Strategy which is now available for public comment.

The infrastructure body, which was an election commitment of the McGowan Labor Government, provides an advisory and assistance role to the State Government on infrastructure related matters to drive Western Australia’s economy and create jobs.

Foundations for a Stronger Tomorrow provides a whole-of-State infrastructure outlook to ensure that decision-making will be based on ‘robust and evidence-based planning in a more holistic, collaborative environment’.

The draft strategy addresses future challenges and opportunities, and provides recommendations ‘to maximise the value of every dollar spent by government’.

It also helps provide businesses and industry with long term planning clarity by supporting emerging local industries, focusing on climate change, leveraging and promoting the regions, and highlighting investment in training and education.

Pathways to jobs, projects and programs that aim to improve services for Aboriginal communities and essential social services for all Western Australians are also included in the draft strategy.

The draft strategy, which has State-wide coverage, includes 88 recommendations of which around 75 per cent are non-build recommendations.

Some recommendations outline the potential next steps for key projects that require further investigation and develop a roadmap for future work already being implemented, including METRONET and Westport.

State Government initiatives already underway, including Westport, are reinforced in some of the recommendations in the draft strategy including:
* developing an Aboriginal Cultural Centre near the Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan);
* planning and preparing for a new container port in Kwinana – Westport;
* building an additional desalination plant to increase the volume of desalinated water;
* achieving WA’s target for net zero emissions by 2050;
* increasing the capacity and quality of convention and exhibition facilities in Perth’s CBD
progressing possible next stage plans for METRONET and long-term road projects;
* investing in social and affordable housing to meet WA’s long-term needs;
* increasing participation of Aboriginal businesses in government projects;
* investing in infrastructure to support WA’s growing hydrogen industry; and
* exploring opportunities to expand carbon farming.

An eight-week consultation program for the draft strategy now commences, and this includes more than 20 workshops and consultation sessions across the State to seek feedback on the recommendations.

The Premier Mark McGowan, who launched the draft strategy today outside the Crown Ballroom at Crown Towers, Burswood, said –

“Infrastructure investment and long-term planning is integral for supporting and driving a strong, resilient and diversified economy for our State’s future.

“With Western Australia continuing to manage and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, the Strategy provides the State Government with a vision and certainty for long-term infrastructure planning, co-ordination and delivery.

“This will inform government and allow it to plan for the required infrastructure needs for the State, ensuring taxpayers’ money is invested wisely to maximise the value and return of our long term infrastructure program.

“It is encouraging that it has endorsed some of the good work this Government is already undertaking when it comes to infrastructure planning and delivery.

“While Infrastructure WA is tasked with providing expert advice to Government on WA’s infrastructure needs, the advice is not binding.

“The Government will consider the final strategy and provide a response to each of the recommendations as required by the legislation.

“This Strategy will help grow our great State as it continues to mature as a world class destination, and a vibrant and attractive place to live, invest, study and visit.”

Infrastructure WA Chairperson John Langoulant added –

“I’m proud to deliver this inaugural draft State Infrastructure Strategy to Western Australians.

“It looks fundamentally at infrastructure needs that will drive social, economic and environmental outcomes for our State and provides the foundation on which future plans and strategies can be developed.

“It is the product of extensive consultation from around the State – a Strategy developed with the people of Western Australia for the people Western Australia – and I would like to thank the community for their contribution and support throughout this journey.

“I encourage Western Australians to read the Strategy and its recommendations, and consider how it can shape our State to 2042 and beyond.”