New Perth Bunbury Highway


Forrest Highway and the extension of Kwinana Freeway were officially opened Sunday, 20 September 2009.

In officially opening the State’s biggest ever road infrastructure project, the Premier, Colin Barnett, and Transport Minister Simon O’Brien said the highway would significantly redefine Bunbury and the South West’s role in the future development of WA.


About the project

The New Perth Bunbury Highway (NPBH) was a large scale infrastructure project, involving design and construction of 70.5 km of dual carriageway.

The Highway was under construction as a single project and extends the dual carriageway from Kwinana Freeway at Safety Bay Road in Baldivis, around the eastern side of the Peel Inlet and Harvey Estuary to join the existing dual carriageway on Old Coast Road at Lake Clifton.

It was constructed to freeway standard from Safety Bay Road to South Yunderup a distance of some 32 km. The remainder of the route, 38 km, will initially be built as a rural highway, with the ability to upgrade it in the future as traffic demands increase.

Funded by both the Commonwealth and State Government of WA, the project doubled the length of the existing freeway network and provided a high standard inter-regional road link that will improve transport connectivity and road safety.

The project included:

  • 6 interchanges
  • 10 intersections
  • 19 bridges
  • 32 km of principal shared path for pedestrians and cyclists
  • 7 pedestrian and cyclist underpasses
  • 14 fauna underpasses

As the largest infrastructure project we have ever undertaken, the highway is expected to greatly benefit West Australians by enhancing efficiency and accessibility of the State's road network.​

The project was delivered by the Southern Gateway Alliance, which includes Main Roads and three of the industry's leading companies - Leighton Contractors, WA Limestone and GHD.

New Perth Bunbury Highway project map


Community involvement

To encourage community involvement in the project, the Alliance used a range of engagement methods including:

  • Technical Working Groups
  • Dialogue with the Community Workshops
  • Neighbourhood meetings
  • Stakeholder meetings on special interest issues
  • Information sessions and presentations

These activities enabled matters regarding the design concept and scope of works such as design requirements, environmental commitments and construction to be deliberated with the community and key stakeholders.


Compliance audits

The New Perth Bunbury Highway project was formally assessed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999).  The project was conditionally approved by the Minister for Environment and Heritage in December 2006 (Approval Instrument EPBC 2005/2193).  Eleven conditions were placed on the construction of the project.  Approval Condition 10 requires that:

 "The person taking the action must ensure that independent audits of compliance with the plans and measures required under this approval have commenced within one year of the commencement of construction, and three months after the completion of construction.  The audits must also address the effectiveness of the measures to mitigate impacts on the matters of NES.

The independent auditor must be accredited by the Quality Society of Australasia, or such other similar body as the minister may notify in writing.

The audit criteria must be agreed by the Minister prior to the commencement of the audit and the audit report must address the criteria to the satisfaction of the Minister.

The relevant audit reports must be provided to the Minister within fifteen months of the commencement of construction, and within six months after the completion of construction.

The audit reports must be made publicly available."

Independent audits were conducted in September 2008, April 2010 and June 2013 to assess compliance with the approval conditions.  The audit reports were submitted to the Audit and Compliance Branch of the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, and are available for public review by clicking on the links below:   


Modified: 06 Jul 2018