Eric Charlton

Eric Charlton

Former Minister for Transport

    Graeme Campbell accused of wrongly criticising the TransformWA program

    3/06/1998 12:00 AM



    Transport Minister Eric Charlton today accused Federal MHR Graeme Campbell of "losing the plot" over criticism of the State Government's road funding in the Goldfields and other parts of his electorate.


    "Graeme Campbell, of all people, should understand the sort of transport and road improvements the current State Government has been able to achieve for the Goldfields and other areas of regional Western Australia," Mr Charlton said.


    "Over the next 10 years the State Government has committed more than $1.3 billion to upgrading the transport network in his electorate, alone.


    "The TransformWA program has enabled the Government to move immediately with the sealing of the Goldfields Highway between Wiluna and Meekatharra at a cost of $70 million linking Kalgoorlie with the Pilbara.


    "TransformWA has also made possible the sealing of the Leinster-Mt Magnet road at a construction cost of $95 million to serve the East Murchison mining region.


    "The State Government recognises the economic importance of this region and the TransformWA program will enable these two major roads to be upgraded and sealed.


    "These transport and tourism routes, along with the upgrade of the Western Australian section of the Outback Highway from Laverton to the Northern Territory border will provide an even further boost to the economic and social development of the region," he said.


    Mr Charlton said that the sealing of the Mt Keith to Wiluna section of the Goldfields Highway had also been initiated by the State Government with the Federal Transport Minister providing $15 million under the Roads of National Importance Scheme for the $38 million project


    "The increased revenue from vehicle registration fees has allowed the State Government to advance by up to 10 years many projects throughout regional WA as well as bringing forward key road and public transport initiatives in the metropolitan area," he said.


    Mr Charlton said that the mining industry was a partner in WA's development and it was appropriate to ask the sector to help fund some road projects which would reduce costs to the mining industry.


    ""This Government has formed partnerships with the private sector in many areas of Western Australia in an effort to bring projects forward and the Lake Raeside crossing was an example of offering the industry an option to bring a project forward," he said.


    Mr Charlton said Mr Campbell should not be criticising the State Government's effort to improve the transport network. Instead, he should be devoting himself to convincing the Federal Government to open its purse strings.


    "He needs only look at his own electorate to see how the State Government is committed to improving the road system around regional Western Australia over the next 10 years.


    "For example, roads and transport projects in the Gascoyne will get $213.5 million, the North-West $452 million, the Goldfields $189 million, the Kimberley $161 million and the Pilbara $307 million," he said.


    Mr Charlton said that Mr Campbell's Kalgoorlie electorate was a major winner from the TransformWA because key projects which were not previously possible would now be constructed ahead of time.


    Media Contact: Doug Cunningham 9321 7333