Work on the biggest South West road infrastructure project, the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, kicked off today, unlocking thousands of local jobs and economic benefits for the Greater Bunbury region.

The South West Gateway Alliance, comprising Acciona, NRW Contracting, MACA Civil, AECOM and Aurecon, together with Main Roads, will build the 27-kilometre, four-lane, high-standard road from Forrest Highway near Australind to the Bussell Highway, south of Bunbury.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said once complete, the project would improve freight capacity, efficiency and productivity across the region.

“Well-planned infrastructure projects such as the Bunbury Outer Ring Road are vital for the Bunbury area,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The project has been planned for a number of years, recognising the significance of delivering vital infrastructure to provide a safer and more efficient road system for the South West of Western Australia.

“Bunbury Outer Ring Road will provide relief for local residents by removing freight and regional traffic from local roads while maintaining easy access to Bunbury and other regional destinations.

“Investing in well-planned transport projects will keep the Bunbury region moving and boost its status as a major economic regional centre – I’m pleased to see this project get underway.

“The Australian Government continues to roll out these types of major projects across the nation under our record $110 billion infrastructure investment plan, which is laying the foundations for economic recovery as we recover from the global pandemic.”

Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan said the $852 million road project was the biggest ever undertaken in the South West.

“The Bunbury Outer Ring Road will generate significant economic and employment opportunities,” the Premier said.

“My Government is committed to creating and supporting local jobs and this project will provide up to 5,680 direct and indirect employment opportunities, benefiting the state and local community.

“The project will deliver significant benefits for our economy both during its construction and once in operation, unlocking thousands of local jobs.”

Western Australian Minister for Transport and Planning Rita Saffioti said the McGowan Government had worked hard to fast-track the project and get shovels in the ground as soon as possible.

“We are building Western Australia’s economy back up from the pandemic by continuing to deliver Building for Tomorrow, the biggest transport infrastructure program WA has seen,” Minister Saffioti said.

“The McGowan Government is spending more than $260 million a month on major transport infrastructure projects with $100 million being spent in regional WA.

“Maximising local business procurement is a key objective for the project with a target spend of $300 million set to encourage and maximise local South West industry participation.”

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the Australian Government is contributing $681.6 million towards the $852 million Bunbury Outer Ring Road project.

“I have worked with my colleagues to highlight the capability of businesses in the South West to deliver local projects,” Mrs Marino said.

“I strongly believe local procurement is vital for projects in the South West to boost local jobs and the economy.

“From day one, I’ve been determined to see as much local South West procurement involved in the construction of this project as possible.

“It’s important that money spent on our region is spent in our region.”

State Member for Bunbury Don Punch said the project would take freight and regional traffic off local roads.

“The new Bunbury Outer Ring Road will support local businesses and jobs while improving safety and efficiency,” Mr Punch said.

“This road will create new connections of Forrest Highway to Bussell Highway and South Western Highway, while also significantly reducing pressure on Bunbury’s local road connections, especially around Glen Iris and the Bunbury Regional Hospital.”

“I’m pleased to see this project getting underway.”

Promoting and maximising local Aboriginal participation is also a project priority, with a $20 million target spend for Aboriginal businesses and an employment target equivalent to 60 full-time Aboriginal people engaged on the project during its three-year construction period.

The South West Gateway Alliance is committed to sustainably delivering the project by working with the local recycling industry to maximise opportunities to safely reuse waste materials in construction.

The $852 million Bunbury Outer Ring Road project is jointly funded by the Australian ($681.6 million) and Western Australian ($170.4 million) governments.