Federal bailout results in road upgrade

The road upgrade has been made possible with funding from the Federal Government, announced by Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Perth on Wednesday.

Member for Swan Hills Frank Alban welcomed the announcement for the area.

�WA will be able to access significant Federal incentive payments towards further investment in job-creating economic infrastructure, when reinvesting the proceeds of any privatisations into such infrastructure projects,� Mr Abbott said.

The Northlink WA Project, which includes the Swan Valley Bypass and Tonkin Grade Separation, will also come under the Federal Government funding.

�The State Government has committed $12 million to these essential upgrades to Great Eastern Highway,� Mr Alban said. �I believe many hills residents, as well as those in the trucking industry, will appreciate the Great Eastern Highway upgrades.�

The NorthLink WA project will get $138 million more, comprising $84 million for Tonkin Highway and $54 million for the Swan Valley bypass. An upgrade of Reid Highway at Malaga Drive will get $67 million, providing 80 per cent of funding for the project from the Federal Government.

The money will not have to be repaid by the State Government.

But in return for the bailout, Mr Abbott said the Barnett Government must �pursue further microeconomic reforms�.

Mr Alban said the revenue announcements were a direct response to the fact the State had suffered a GST revenue shortfall for the financial year 2015-2016.

State Treasurer Mike Nahan said he had demanded WA get $660 million to cover the GST shortfall over the next two years.

Federal Finance Minister and West Australian Senator Mathias Cormann said those amounts would be considered.

�Once we know what the Commonwealth Grants Commission is actually recommending, we can look at the 2016-17 figures,� he said.

Premier Colin Barnett said he appreciated Mr Abbott�s acknowledgment that WA was being treated unfairly.

�We still face a tight Budget, but this will help,� Mr Barnett said.