|Formed||1 January 1930|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Western Australia|
|Parent agency||Department of Transport|
Main Roads Western Australia (formerly the Main Roads Department) is a statutory authorityof the Government of Western Australia that is responsible for implementing the state's policies on road access and main roads. It operates under the Main Roads Act 1930 (WA).
The Department manages more than 18,500 kilometres (11,500 mi) of roads, representing the arterial road network in Western Australia. :23 Each of the roads must be declared a "public highway" or "main road" in the Government Gazette and is allocated a highway or main road number – many roads perceived as main roads by the public are in fact managed by local councils.
Main Roads Western Australia also regulates heavy vehicles through the issue of permits and notices under the authority granted to the Commissioner of Main Roads under the Road Traffic Act 1974. The Road Transport Compliance Section, a section within the Department, employs Transport Inspectors who, alongside police officers, monitor heavy vehicle movement and enforce the Road Traffic Act 1974.
The first roads in Western Australia were built during the settlement of the Swan River Colony in the late 1820s. Prior to this, narrow bush tracks had been used by the local Aboriginal people. In 1871, local governments were established, often called Road Boards in rural areas. Their primary function was to create and maintain the roads network in their local areas. Most of these rural roads, especially in the Wheatbelt, connected farms to the state government's extensive rail network, usually covering a distance of less than 20 miles (32 km). By the end of World War I, technology such as the internal combustion engine had advanced considerably. Following the war, there was a tenfold increase in the number of motor vehicles in Western Australia, from 2,538 in 1918 to 25,270 in 1927. Motor transport was very efficient compared to horse-drawn vehicles, and also more efficient than railways for short distances. In 1923, recognising the importance of road transportation, the Commonwealth government began granting a combined total of £500,000 per year to the state governments for road improvement works. In 1926, the funding level was increased, with Western Australia allocated £672,000. The Roads and Bridges Branch of the State Government's Public Works Department would not be able to spend such a large amount of money, so a Main Roads Board was established in July 1926. The board worked in cooperation with local governments, taking over the development of significant roads, and providing assistance for others. District offices were set up in regional areas to better coordinate work undertaken there, and liaise with those local governments.
The Great Depression, which started in 1929, brought chaos into the new system. The Board was dissolved, and replaced by a Commissioner of Main Roads, the first of which was Edward Tindale. All the district offices were closed down, with the workers laid off. The number of staff in Perth was reduced from 107 to 41, and salaries were also lowered. During the 1930s, Main Roads was able to provide work for the unemployed, as road construction at that time required many labourers. Large groups of men spent one or two weeks in camps, constructing roads. With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, a smaller labour force undertook works for Main Roads, which were primarily for military purposes, such as aerodromes and parade grounds. The late 1940s were a boom-time for Main Roads. Government funding and support increased, and new equipment such as power graders, front-end loaders, and large trucks allowed work to be undertaken more efficiently. The amount of work meant there was a high demand for workers – the re-established regional divisions became employment hubs for European migrants.
The head of Main Roads WA is the Commissioner. Since 2010 the role of Commissioner of Main Roads has been part of the role of the Director General for the Transport Portfolio, who also oversees the Public Transport Authority and Department of Transport.
The City of Canning is a local government area in the southeastern suburbs of the Western Australian capital city of Perth, about 10 kilometres (6 mi) southeast of Perth's central business district. The City covers an area of 64.8 square kilometres (25.0 sq mi) and had a population of approximately 90,000 as at the 2016 Census.
Eyre Highway is a 1,660-kilometre (1,030 mi) highway linking Western Australia and South Australia via the Nullarbor Plain. Signed as National Highways 1 and A1, it forms part of Highway 1 and the Australian National Highway network linking Perth and Adelaide. It was named after explorer Edward John Eyre, who was the first European to cross the Nullarbor by land, in 1840–1841. Eyre Highway runs from Norseman in Western Australia, past Eucla, to the state border. Continuing to the South Australian town of Ceduna, it then crosses the top of the Eyre Peninsula before reaching Port Augusta.
The Wheatbelt is one of nine regions of Western Australia defined as administrative areas for the state's regional development, and a vernacular term for the area converted to agriculture during colonisation. It partially surrounds the Perth metropolitan area, extending north from Perth to the Mid West region, and east to the Goldfields-Esperance region. It is bordered to the south by the South West and Great Southern regions, and to the west by the Indian Ocean, the Perth metropolitan area, and the Peel region. Altogether, it has an area of 154,862 square kilometres (59,793 sq mi).
Albany Highway links Western Australia's capital city Perth with its oldest settlement, Albany, on the state's south coast. The 405-kilometre-long (252 mi) highway travels through the southern Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions, and is designated State Route 30 for most of its length. Outside of Perth the highway is predominately a sealed, single carriageway with regular overtaking lanes in some undulating areas. Albany Highway commences at The Causeway, a river crossing that connects to Perth's central business district. The highway heads south-east through Perth's metropolitan region, bypassed in part by Shepperton Road and Kenwick Link, and continues south-eastwards through to Albany. It intersects several major roads in Perth, including the Leach, Tonkin, Brookton, and South Western highways. The rural section of Albany Highway connects to important regional roads at the few towns and roadhouses along the route, including Coalfields Highway at Arthur River, Great Southern Highway at Cranbrook, and Muirs Highway at Mount Barker.
Brand Highway is a 370-kilometre (230 mi) main highway linking the northern outskirts of Perth to Geraldton in Western Australia. Together with North West Coastal Highway, it forms part of the Western Australian coastal link to the Northern Territory. The highway is a part of Australia's Highway 1, and is for the most part a single carriageway with one lane in each direction.
Great Northern Highway is an Australian highway that links Western Australia's capital city Perth with its northernmost port, Wyndham. With a length of almost 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi), it is the longest highway in Australia, with the majority included as part of the Perth Darwin National Highway. The highway is constructed as a sealed, predominantly two-lane single carriageway, but with some single-lane bridges in the Kimberley. The Great Northern Highway travels through remote areas of the state, and is the only sealed road link between the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia. Economically, it provides vital access through the Wheatbelt and Mid West to the resource-rich regions of the Pilbara and Kimberley. In these areas, the key industries of mining, agriculture and pastoral stations, and tourism are all dependent on the highway.
The Kwinana Freeway is a 72-kilometre (45 mi) freeway in and beyond the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, linking central Perth with Mandurah to the south. It is the central section of State Route 2, which continues north as Mitchell Freeway to Clarkson, and south as Forrest Highway towards Bunbury. A 4-kilometre (2.5 mi) section between Canning and Leach highways is also part of National Route 1. Along its route are interchanges with several major roads, including Roe Highway and Mandjoogoordap Drive. The northern terminus of the Kwinana Freeway is at the Narrows Bridge, which crosses the Swan River, and the southern terminus is at Pinjarra Road, east of Mandurah.
The Armadale railway line is a suburban railway line in Western Australia that runs from Perth to Armadale, and continues as the South Western Railway to Bunbury. The line crosses the Swan River at East Perth via the Goongoongup Bridge, and formerly had crossed it via the Bunbury Bridge.
Coolgardie–Esperance Highway is a 370-kilometre (230 mi) Western Australian highway between Coolgardie and Esperance. It runs in a north–south direction linking the state's Eastern Goldfields to the coast.
Mitchell Freeway is a 36-kilometre-long (22 mi) freeway in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, linking central Perth with the city of Joondalup. It is the northern section of State Route 2, which continues south as Kwinana Freeway and Forrest Highway. Along its length are interchanges with several major roads, including Graham Farmer Freeway and Reid Highway. The southern terminus of the Mitchell Freeway is at the Narrows Bridge, which crosses the Swan River, and the northern terminus is at Hester Avenue, Clarkson, a suburb within the City of Wanneroo.
The Perth Central Area Transit system, or simply CAT, comprises four bus routes in the centre of Perth, one bus route in Fremantle, and three bus routes in Joondalup. Similar services exist in Rockingham and Midland. Unlike all other Transperth services, most CAT routes are free.
Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) was the operator of railway services in the state of Western Australia between October 1890 and June 2003. Owned by the state government, it was renamed a number of times to reflect extra responsibility for tram and ferry operations that it assumed and later relinquished. Its freight operations were privatised in December 2000 with the remaining passenger operations transferred to the Public Transport Authority in July 2003.
Roe Highway is a 35-kilometre-long (22 mi) limited-access highway and partial freeway in Perth, Western Australia, linking Kewdale with the city's north-eastern and south-western suburbs. The northern terminus is at Reid Highway and Great Northern Highway in Middle Swan, and the southern terminus is with Murdoch Drive at the Kwinana Freeway interchange in Bibra Lake. Roe Highway, in addition to Reid Highway, form State Route 3, a partial ring road around the outer suburbs of the Perth metropolitan area. Roe Highway also forms part of National Highway 94 from Great Eastern Highway Bypass to Great Eastern Highway, and National Highway 95 from Great Eastern Highway to Great Northern Highway.
Applecross Senior High School is a public co-educational high school, located in Ardross, a southern suburb of Perth, Western Australia.
Tonkin Highway is an 81-kilometre-long (50 mi) north–south highway and partial freeway in Perth, Western Australia, linking Perth Airport and Kewdale with the city's north-eastern and south-eastern suburbs. As of April 2020, the northern terminus is at the interchange with Brand Highway and Great Northern Highway in Muchea, and the southern terminus is at Thomas Road in Oakford. It forms the entire length of State Route 4, and connects to several major roads. Besides Brand Highway and Great Northern Highway, it also connects to Reid Highway, Great Eastern Highway, Leach Highway, Roe Highway, and Albany Highway.
Leach Highway is a 23-kilometre (14 mi) east-west arterial highway in the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, primarily linking Kewdale and Perth Airport with the city of Fremantle.
The Department of Transport is a department of the Government of Western Australia that is responsible for implementing the state's vehicle licensing, maritime safety, taxi, ports, transport policies. It was formed on 1 July 2009.
Forrest Highway is a 95-kilometre-long (59 mi) highway in Western Australia's Peel and South West regions, extending Perth's Kwinana Freeway from east of Mandurah down to Bunbury. Old Coast Road was the original Mandurah–Bunbury route, dating back to the 1840s. Part of that road, and the Australind Bypass around Australind and Eaton, were subsumed by Forrest Highway. The highway begins at Kwinana Freeway's southern terminus in Ravenswood, continues around the Peel Inlet to Lake Clifton, and heads south to finish at Bunbury's Eelup Roundabout. There are a number of at-grade intersections with minor roads in the shires of Murray, Waroona, and Harvey including Greenlands Road and Old Bunbury Road, both of which connect to South Western Highway near Pinjarra.
The Perth Freight Link was a proposed $1.9 billion project in Perth, Western Australia to improve the road freight link between Kewdale and Fremantle Harbour. The project was announced by the state government in May 2014, but was cancelled following a change of government at the March 2017 state election.
Reece Waldock is a retired senior Australian public servant. Most recently he served concurrently as Director-General of the WA Department of Transport, Commissioner of Main Roads Western Australia and CEO of the WA Public Transport Authority, between May 2010 and July 2016.