A new Main Roads office will be established in Manjimup in Western Australia next year, as part of the state government’s decision to return road maintenance back in-house to the transport agency.
Western Australia’s Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti this week visited the site of Manjimup’s old Department of Education building, which will be re-purposed into a new Main Roads office for the South-West region.
The new office – which will accommodate around 20 employees – is being established in preparation for increased road network management responsibilities in the region.
The Western Australian government is investing $48.8 million over the next six years on new regional staff housing, depots, and offices funded from operational savings realised through the transitional change.
The decision follows an initiative by the Western Australian government in Apri this year to return road maintenance jobs in-house. The initiative is expected to create 660 permanent jobs within Main Roads, including 490 in regional Western Australia.
Road maintenance contracts have been outsourced by Main Roads since 2000. Under the current arrangement, there are five network maintenance contractors engaged by Main Roads, delivering more than $400 million of maintenance and improvement works throughout the state each year.
Once fully implemented across the state, the initiative is deemed to create savings of more than $25 million a year and increase employment opportunities for regional WA.
Already, 41 road maintenance workers in Wheatbelt have become the first to transition to in-house delivery by Main Roads in October – with works in the Mid-West Gascoyne Region to be brought in-house next.
The South-West and Great Southern will transition to in-house road maintenance with Main Roads when existing network contracts expire in late 2023.
The last region will be the Kimberley, which will be brought in-house when the current contract ends in January 2026.
The Manjimup office is expected to be operational in March 2023.