Metronet update attracts 300 suppliers

Premier Mark McGowan says the looming start of construction on major Metronet rail projects will provide a further boost to WA’s rebounding economy.

McGowan told more than 300 supply chain representatives yesterday that the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and Yanchep extension projects would move into construction next year, becoming an “important part” of boosting WA confidence and work opportunities.

“Today we have seen some great economic figures with the consumer confidence figures coming through from the CCI and that builds on the domestic economy coming back into a growth phase after four years of recession,” McGowan said.

“All of the other figures about participation rates and business confidence over the past few months have shown that that the WA economy is picking up, so it’s very good news.”

Yesterday, CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham said the four-year high in West Australians’ consumer confidence was continuing its hot streak, although further growth was constrained by cost of living pressures for households.

McGowan said that WA Cabinet-endorsed project definition plans for the Thornlie and Yanchep projects – worth $1.06 billion combined – had now been submitted to Infrastructure Australia.

“It means we can now move into this exciting phase of the project to get procurement underway and get construction started next year.

“At their peak, they are expected to generate 3000 jobs in Western Australia.”

These, together with other major Metronet projects such as Morley-Ellenbrook and rail car construction, would create a “pipeline of work over the next decade and beyond”, he said.

The Yanchep and Thornlie-Cockburn projects are being delivered through a joint funding arrangement, with the Federal Government tipping in $700 million and the State Government $356m.

Major civil construction companies in the running for the lucrative contract, including John Holland, the Downer-CPB Contractors alliance, Laing O’Rourke and Clough, had exhibition stands at the industry briefing.

Metronet officials said the Public Transport Authority would seek proposals next month from contractors for the main works on Yanchep and Thornlie, with a contract award expected in mid-2019.

The two projects would generate about 70 individual work packages, including consultancies, service relocations, civil works, and the major construction of stations and bridges, they said.

McGowan, meanwhile, said the Yanchep expansion means that “our public transport system won’t be playing catch-up like Sydney does with new suburbs”.

“Yanchep, Alkimos, Eglinton – every time I go up there I am amazed at the number of people wanting to live in those communities, and the extraordinary growth in terms of residential population in those areas.”

And Thornlie-Cockburn would be Perth’s first east-west connection, “making travel around the city by train more flexible and improving public transport links to Perth’s southern suburbs”, he said.

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