Eric Charlton

Eric Charlton

Former Minister for Transport

    Release of South-West and Peel Regional Road Development Strategy

    18/12/1997 12:00 AM



    Transport Minister Eric Charlton says the need to upgrade major tourist routes is identified in a key initiative in the South-West and Peel Regional Road Development Strategy, released today by Bunbury MLA Ian Osborne as part of the Roads 2020 program.


    A co-operative venture between Main Roads Western Australia and local government, Roads 2020 is aimed at meeting the needs of road users to the year 2020.


    Mr Charlton said the South-West and Peel strategy reflected widespread public input on an earlier draft report and highlighted numerous transport issues related to economic, social, tourism and safety needs of the community.


    "For example, the need to upgrade the existing road network rather than expanding it was strongly supported," he said.


    "The process also identified a need to improve roads to the many tourists destinations, given the burgeoning tourism industry in both regions. The provision of dual carriageways on major roads and the need for increased passing opportunities were issues raised in many of the submissions.


    "Preservation of the unique scenic values of several roads was another issue and it is proposed that, in these cases, local strategies will need to be developed to properly manage the sensitivities."


    Mr Osborne said the strategy had identified 108 road development proposals for the South-West and Peel regions.


    "The majority of these proposed works centre on improvements to existing roads that vary in standard from formed gravel to sealed two-lane routes," he said.


    "Obviously, not all significant roads in the regions have been earmarked for improvement under the strategy, because many are currently at an appropriate standard for predicted future traffic volumes."


    Key road development projects identified in the strategy include:


    ·      completion of the dual carriageway on Old Coast Road (Perth-Bunbury) between Lake Clifton and Australind Bypass. It is proposed to have this completed in the year 2001;


    ·      construction of a second carriageway on South Western Highway between the Metropolitan Region Boundary and Bunbury. Projected traffic estimates indicate that this service level is likely to be required beyond 2005;


    ·      South Western Highway (Bunbury to Albany). Widen and provide increased passing opportunities in the short term. Upgrading of some sections to dual carriageway will need to be reviewed in the longer term. Preservation of the amenity of several towns along the route can be achieved by the construction of alternative bypass routes for heavy haulage vehicles;


    ·      with the completion of Sues Road, upgrading of the east-west link between Nannup and Margaret River is now a high priority and its completion will offer an attractive alternative route particularly for tourists travelling to the Margaret River area;


    ·      development of the route between Collie and Dardanup via a series of existing local roads will improve access into the area for the forestry industry, special rural development, tourism and the farming community;


    ·      development of a new route to the east of Peel Inlet as part of the Perth-Bunbury inter-regional route has been subject to preliminary environmental investigation and public consultation. The route is favoured as a means of relieving through-traffic congestion in Mandurah and localities south;


    ·      access to the Port of Bunbury. This proposal will provide for projected heavy haulage traffic associated with the proposed expansion of the port to accommodate increased tonnages of mineral sands, silica sands and wood chips;


    ·      Mandurah Terrace and Pinjarra Road in Mandurah. Increased capacity is required on these major entries into the city central business district. Upgrading to dual carriageway is recommended; and -


    ·      extension of Kwinana Freeway to Mandurah has been identified as a high priority.


    The strategy focuses on roads of regional significance in the two regions and looks at the development of this network and how it inter-connects with similar roads in adjoining regions.


    "The strategy is intended to help guide State and local government decision making on the investment of road funds," the Minister said.


    Mr Charlton said that investment in roads was one of the most efficient ways of improving economic performance.


    "Road investments create new industry development opportunities, increase industry competitiveness and productivity, generate new jobs and improve the standard of living for the community," he said.


    The strategy is to be reviewed on a regular basis to respond to changing needs in the region which may occur as a result of such things as new industry, new farming methods, changes in road transport vehicle configurations, tourist activity and population shifts.


    Media contact: Doug Cunningham 08 9321 7333