Eric Charlton

Eric Charlton

Former Minister for Transport

    Bunbury Outer Ring Rd to be built along existing reserve through Gelorup

    27/02/1998 12:00 AM



    Transport Minister Eric Charlton said today the proposed Bunbury Outer Ring Road would be constructed along the existing road reserve through Gelorup.


    "We have taken into account all aspects of the debate and made every effort to secure an alternative," Mr Charlton said.


    He said he acknowledged the strong representation made by local member Bernie Masters, who had sought an acceptable alternative route, if one existed.


    "Moving the alignment would have impacted adversely on a number of well-established farming operations which were developed in the knowledge that the existing Gelorup route was firmly in place," the Minister said.


    "Residential development on each side of the Gelorup alignment occurred after the existing road reserve was gazetted and after long-term traffic planning was put in place in the early 1980s."


    Mr Charlton said two recent independent reports by consultants Halpern Glick Maunsell and ERM Mitchell McCotter had been unable to find an alternative route option which offered advantages over the existing alignment.


    "The exisiting alignment also has environmental advantages because it does not impact on sensitive wetlands and has minimal impact on remnant vegetation," he said.


    Mr Charlton said he had visited the area on two occasions to go over the issues with local people and there would be ongoing consultation between Main Roads Western Australia and the residents of Gelorup to address safety and other concerns people might have during design and construction. These included the development of measures to minimise traffic noise.


    "I certainly respected the concerns expressed and recognised the professional manner in which people presented their views," the Minister said.


    Construction of the first stage of the ring road between Australind Bypass and South Western Highway will cost $20million and is due to commence in 2001/2. The remaining section from Hastie Road to Bussell Highway will be built in later years.


    Initially, the outer ring road will cater for up to 3,200 vehicles a day and allow for improved access to the Port of Bunbury.


    Media contact: Doug Cunningham 9321 7333