Eric Charlton

Eric Charlton

Former Minister for Transport

    Construction timing for road/transport projects in Mandurah and S/W region confirmed

    20/05/1998 12:00 AM



    Transport Minister Eric Charlton today confirmed construction timings for six key road and transport projects in the Mandurah and South West region and announced plans for a study group to look at building the Peel Deviation to take north-south traffic east of the Peel Inlet.


    "Following the State Budget I have held several planning meetings with Main Roads WA to assess priorities and I am now able to confirm the timings for a number of major projects which have been the source of debate," Mr Charlton said.


    "During the Budget process, the start-up timings for construction on some road projects were re-arranged in the program as part of managing cash flows, but these have been reassessed and now conform with the total road program," he said.


    Mr Charlton said that while a total of $56.1 million had been allocated in the 1998 road program for works on Bunbury Highway, the question of when to build and how to fund the $150 million Peel Deviation needed to be addressed urgently.


    "The Peel Deviation is a major transport initiative designed to allow traffic to skirt Mandurah along an alignment on the eastern side of Peel Inlet," he said.


    "Localities on the southern outskirts of Mandurah are experiencing growing traffic congestion and residents are already calling for signalised intersections to allow local traffic access to the Bunbury Highway.


    "Traffic lights will, of course, make life even more difficult for through-traffic heading to Perth or the South-West.


    "A decision will have to be made within three months, or so, on whether to focus on the Peel Deviation and reassess the need for early dualling of part of the highway north of Lake Clifton.


    "The issue of which way to go is now on the table and needs to be addressed as a matter of priority by communities, land owners, local government and other interested parties."


    Mr Charlton said that apart from the Peel Deviation issue, timings for key South-West projects had now been locked away as follows:


    ·      Clifton section, preliminary works 1998/99, major expenditure 1999/00 and 2000/01 (total cost $7.3 million);


    ·      Preston section, major works in 1998/99 (total cost $4.1 million);


    ·      Bussell Highway – Sabina to Busselton, preliminary works 1998, major expenditure 1999 and 2000 (total cost $6.2 million);


    ·      Townsite section through to Caves Road turn-off, preliminary works in 1998, major expenditure 1999 (total cost $4.8 million);


    ·      Caves Road – Busselton Bypass to Dunsborough, begins in 2001 with major expenditure in 2004 and 2005 (total cost $12.8 million); and -


    ·      Busselton Bypass – preliminary works 1998/99, major works 2000 and 2001 (total cost $15.5 million).


    "People should appreciate that a road program the size Western Australia's is a dynamic entity and project timings are sometimes affected by a range of issues, including land ownership, environmental assessments and social issues," Mr Charlton said.


    "In a dynamic economy like Western Australia road upgrades are continually required and initiatives devised to cater for the 75 per cent of the the State's 170,000 km of roads which still remained unsealed," he said.


    Mr Charlton said Main Roads now operated on a 10 year program, re-calculated annually so that new projects were added as soon as existing projects were completed. This approach, which was published annually, enabled business, industry, communities and individuals to plan with confidence.


    Mr Charlton said that coupled with initiatives under TransformWA, such as the improvement program for Kwinana Freeway and South Western Highway, the State's 10 year road program was bringing enormous benefits to the South-West.


    "The current level of investment in our road and transport systems will reduce road crashes and make travel safer, reduce travel times and transport costs and create jobs," he said.


    "Any improvements to the transport system saves the community money, and roads are an integral part of the State's overall transport system."


    Mr Charlton said TransformWA was an integrated package. It completed the State's transport network which had been neglected by previous State and Federal governments.


    "Many metropolitan projects like the completion of Tonkin and Roe Highways and the Kwinana Freeway project indirectly benefit people in rural and regional Western Australia," he said.


    "These projects will streamline the road freight transport routes into and out of the metropolitan area and will result in lower transport costs for both Perth and regional communities."


    Media contact: Doug Cunningham 9321 7333