The Government of Western Australia (WA) has announced that construction has been initiated for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, which is said to be the biggest road infrastructure project in the region’s south west.

The project will see the construction of a 27km, four-lane road from Forrest Highway near Australind to the Bussell Highway, south of Bunbury.

Bunbury Outer Ring Road will be built by South West Gateway Alliance, which includes companies such as Acciona, MACA Civil, NRW Contracting, AECOM and Aurecon, who will be working together with Main Roads.

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack explained that the project would improve freight capacity, efficiency and productivity across the region.

McCormack said: “Well-planned infrastructure projects such as the Bunbury Outer Ring Road are vital for the Bunbury area.

“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.”

To be built with an investment of A$852m ($650m), the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project is jointly funded by the Australian and WA governments.

The Australian Government has agreed to provide A$681.6m ($520.5m) while the Western Australian Government committed A$170.4m ($130.1m).

The alliance intends to spend A$20m ($15.2m) towards Aboriginal businesses to promote and maximise local Aboriginal participation.

It also aims to offer 60 full-time jobs to Aboriginal people during the three-year construction period.

Western Australian Minister for Transport and Planning Rita Saffioti said: “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.

“The McGowan Government is spending more than A$260m ($198m) a month on major transport infrastructure projects, with A$100m ($76.3m) being spent in regional WA.

“Maximising local business procurement is a key objective for the project, with a target spend of A$300m ($228m) set to encourage and maximise local south-west industry participation.”