New Metronet stations will connect Perth's Northern suburbs to the CBD.

Metronet first priority: local government grants shift focus

WABN grants are targetting cycling paths connecting to Metronet stations.
June 20, 2024

THE state government has announced updates to the Western Australian Bicycle Network (WABN) grants program, making Metronet connections the new focus of suburban cycle path projects.

From July this year, local governments will be able to apply for four-year funding grants for cycling path projects within two kilometres of new Metronet stations.

Under the WABN scheme, the state government will match local government investment up to 50 per cent of a project’s cost.

The funding will now be considered for projects with a four-year timeline, instead of the previous two. A state government spokesperson said this change aimed to provide “more funding certainty to local governments delivering projects, and better long-term planning for walking and riding infrastructure.”

Since the WABN scheme opened for applications in 2017, the state government has invested more then $300 million into local government projects to build more than 240 kilometres of cycling and footpaths, and a further $310m has been committed for projects to roll out over the next four years.

The Morley-Ellenbrook train line, the department’s biggest public transport project since building the Mandurah line, will cover 21km of new rail and include five new stations: Ellenbrook, Whiteman Park, Malaga, Noranda and Morley.

The state government estimated the completed project will support more than 6500 jobs and support growth of surrounding communities.

“The refocussing of the grant program aimed to fill key gaps in public transport connection, and planned precincts around each station will provide better access to housing, jobs, community services and tourism,” Transport minister Rita Saffioti said.

She said the state government was investing at “record levels” to improve Perth’s transport network and foster greater social inclusion and interaction through public transport and healthy travel methods such as walking or cycling.

“Through Metronet, we’re transforming Perth’s suburbs, and by refreshing our local government bike network grants program, we’re complementing this work to slash congestion and give people more choice in how they move around our city,” she said.

“Active travel is a healthy, cost-effective and sustainable way to get around, and by better aligning our funding programs to the long-term cycle network for Perth, Peel and across our regions, we will deliver better-connected and more vibrant towns and cities.”

More information, including intake dates and the application process, will be provided to local governments over the coming month.

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