Preferred proponent chosen for $852 million Bunbury Outer Ring Road project

The Southwest Connex consortium has been named the preferred proponent to design and construct the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, the biggest regional infrastructure project ever undertaken in Western Australia.

The consortium, comprising Acciona, local WA company NRW Contracting, MACA Civil, AECOM and Aurecon will now enter into negotiations with Main Roads prior to the contract award anticipated in September.

Construction on the $852 million project will begin early next year, subject to environmental and heritage approvals and is estimated to create thousands of local jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said this was just one of the major infrastructure projects planned for the South West region.

"The Bunbury Outer Ring Road 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," Mr McCormack said.

"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."

Western Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said this is the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken in regional WA.

"During construction, Bunbury Outer Ring Road will provide thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities, benefiting the State and local community," she said.

"This project will deliver huge benefits for the economy, both during its construction and once in operation and I'm pleased to see a local WA company play such a big role in its construction.

"Maximising local business procurement and Aboriginal participation are key objectives for the project and we have set a target of approximately $300 million to be allocated to local businesses to subcontract on the project."

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino MP, who worked on securing Federal funding for this project for years, said the Bunbury Outer Ring Road is a well-planned infrastructure project supporting the growth and development of the region.

"I'm determined to see as much local South West procurement involved in the construction of this project as possible," Ms Marino said.

"Given that local businesses and contractors are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the prioritisation of this road project and local procurement are critical to the South West."

State Member for Bunbury Don Punch said the project will help ease congestion and improve safety as well as creating local job opportunities.

"I am pleased to see that local businesses will have so much opportunity to work on this project," he said.

"This project will create local jobs while also complementing other major projects underway in the South-West region including the Bussell Highway duplication."