The MELconnx Consortium has secured a A$700m ($496.23m) contract to build the Metronet Morley-Ellenbrook Line in Perth, Western Australia.

The 21km line will connect the north-eastern suburbs with the larger passenger rail network in the city.

Overall, the project will include the laying of the rail line and the construction of five new stations at Morley, Noranda, Malaga, Whiteman Park and Ellenbrook, as well as a future station at Bennett Springs East.

The contract was awarded nearly nine months after the Government of Western Australia sought Request for Proposal (RFP) for the main works for the Morley-Ellenbrook Line.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said: “This has been talked about for decades and after all the broken promises, this is a major step forward for this project, which will transform Perth’s growing north-eastern suburbs and benefit the local and surrounding communities.

“Now more than ever, big infrastructure projects like Metronet’s Morley-Ellenbrook Line are imperative to Western Australia’s Covid-19 economic recovery as they create a pipeline of work and support thousands of jobs.

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“This year alone we have seven Metronet projects underway and through our Building for Tomorrow programme, we are creating lasting infrastructure for generations to come while creating thousands of local jobs and opportunities for local businesses.”

Jointly funded by the federal and state governments, the Morley-Ellenbrook Line will start at Bayswater Station on the Midland Line and will end in Ellenbrook, south of The Parkway.

It is the biggest Metronet project to be undertaken since the construction of the Mandurah Line in 2007.

The state government expects that the project will create more than 6,500 local jobs, providing a boost to the local economy. The main construction works are expected to be completed in 2023-24.

The total project budget is estimated to be A$1.1bn ($780m), including contingency costs.

Once operational, the Metronet Morley-Ellenbrook Line is estimated to take off more than 10,000 car trips in the north-eastern suburbs daily by 2031.