WA announces Local Capability Fund

Western Australian SMEs could be eligible for up to $20,000 dollar-for-dollar funding under the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s Local Capability Fund (LCF).

Announced at a METRONET industry briefing, the fund replaces the Industry Facilitation Support Program and is designed to support activities to assist local SMEs improve their engagement with major markets in Western Australia.

The first round of the LCF is aimed at METRONET rollingstock supply chains and is designed to help local business become involved in the billion-dollar project.

The funding will allow eligible businesses not only to prepare, but to better position themselves to be both competitive and capable to respond to future project demands as contracts are released.

Eligible activities include:

  • expert consultancy fees
  • equipment
  • improvements to internal business infrastructure/systems.

More than 150 people who attended the briefing also heard that the METRONET Project would be named a “strategic project” under their new Plan for Jobs Bill that has been passed through the Lower House of Parliament.

‘Under the WA Industry Participation Strategy, which is due to be released in March 2018, the project will have to write an Industry Participation Plan (IPP) and while the constitution prevents a local content mandate, the government will request bidders  to maximise local content, and report on progress against the proposed IPP,’ ICNWA’s Daniel Holbrook said.

‘METRONET will transform Western Australia's public transport network and provide opportunities for local businesses that have the capability to help plan, develop and implement these projects.’

It is the long-term blueprint to connect Perth suburbs, reduce road congestion and meet future planning needs. The job-creating project will see transport investment as a vehicle for positive land-use planning.

The first stage of METRONET includes:

  • completing the Forrestfield-Airport Link
  • extending the Joondalup Line to Yanchep
  • extending the Thornlie Line to Cockburn Central
  • planning and building the new Morley-Ellenbrook Line
  • extending the Armadale Line to Byford
  • relocating Midland Station and extending the Midland Line to Bellevue
  • building a new station at Karnup on the Mandurah Line
  • bemoving level crossings on the Armadale, Midland and Fremantle lines
  • planning for an inner-suburb light rail system, improving bus services and circle routes and creating better synergies between cycling infrastructure and public transport.

The WA Department of Transport has announced the release of the tender for the planning and engineering services of the Morley-Ellenbrook component of the METRONET project, which is set to start construction in 2019.

Interested businesses are encouraged to register for project updates on the METRONET Project site.