PM talks up, tops up City Deal

Perth lord mayor Basil Zempilas hears Scott Morrison’s vision for the city on Thursday March 17. Photo supplied

AFTER a lengthy delay and two months from a federal election, a sudden splurge of Commonwealth cash has been pledged for the Perth City Deal.

The Deal is a three-way $1.7 billion agreement between federal, state, and local governments to co-fund big infrastructure.

Cash has trickled since negotiations started in April 2018, when the deal was priced at $1b.

But with prime minister Scott Morrison campaigning in Perth last week the commitments are coming rapid fire and the cost has blown out to $1.7b.

Under the deal Perth gets:

• A pedestrian and cyclist bridge 90m downstream of the East Perth Causeway, with separated lanes for riders and walkers that’ll replace the cramped one which runs under the current bridge;

• The $52m redevelopment of Perth Concert Hall announced last week;

  A revamp of Roe Street to reclaim it from cars, stripping parking lanes to add in separated bike lanes, wider footpaths, alfresco dining and a central nature strip;

• The previously-announced overhaul of the WACA in East Perth and a new pool there. Perth city council’s reluctance to be stuck with a massive ongoing maintenance delayed this one a bit but they eventually agreed to a one-off contribution of $25m; and,

• ECU’s new city campus, now getting an extra $50m each from state and federal governments and an extra $60m from the uni to bring the total cost to $853m.

Mr Morrison met with WA premier Mark McGowan last week to announce the extra cash for the bridge and city campus projects. The construction market’s tricky right now with materials and labour in demand, and the extra cash will go towards a faster start date and to pay for more of the manufacturing to be done locally. 

Mr Morrison then went on to Queensland to finalise the Brisbane City Deal, and when quizzed about whether the announcement timing was due to the upcoming election, the Brisbane Times reported he denied that and said “these things take time to get right… and as soon as we’ve been able to complete the deal we’ve made the announcement”.

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