THE Preston River diversion is one step closer to fruition after the state government approved funding for a study into the project.
Three million dollars has been committed to the design and engineering study.
The river diversion is a crucial part of the Roads to Export project formed by the Bunbury Wellington and Economic Alliance.
The project as a whole is predicted to cost about $750 million.
It includes the duplication of the railway line from Collie to Bunbury Port, completion of the Outer Ring Road and the river diversion.
Alliance chief executive Matt Granger said the alliance welcomes the funding and the river diversion was important to unlocking development at the Inner Harbour.
A spokesperson for transport minister Troy Buswell said once the study was finished and a business case developed more funding would be sought for construction.
“The Preston River diversion will lay the foundation for long term planning for port expansion and development to continue supporting the growth of the Bunbury and South West Region,” they said.
“These works will be consistent with the Bunbury Port Authority’s Inner Harbour Structure Plan.”