Transport Minister Murray Criddle warned today of drastic cuts to road and transport spending across Western Australia should there be a change of government.
“We hold grave fears that dedicated road funding provided by the motorists of Western Australia will be swallowed up and squandered,” Mr Criddle said.
“You can wave goodbye to any new projects like the upgrade and extension of the Kwinana Freeway - which will create a transport ‘Superway’ between Joondalup and Mandurah.
“Scores of crucial road projects, especially in regional WA, are in jeopardy and I can see a return to the ‘bad old days’ when the State’s transport network was allowed to fall into neglect and disrepair.”
The Minister issued his warning as traffic was about to flow today on Perth’s latest transport facility, the Wellington Street ramps, which streamline traffic access from Mitchell Freeway into and out of the Perth CBD.
“We have spent the past eight years rehabilitating a decaying road network and what communities are now seeing right across WA is the envy of every other Australian state,” Mr Criddle said.
“It’s no accident that we have been able to lift overall road spending from $360 million a year when we came to office in 1993 to the current level of $770 million a year….with a further $6 billion in spending scheduled over the next 10 years.
“We set out to fix the roads in communities all around the State and people have a right to know that their roads could all go out the window with a change of government.
“It’s worth remembering that Labor criticised us all the way for building transport facilities like the magnificent Graham Farmer Freeway, which has revolutionised private and commercial travel around the city.
“We have delivered projects…on time…on budget…toll free!
“Under Labor you’d have no Graham Farmer Freeway, no duplication of the Narrows Bridge and certainly no upgrade and extension of the Kwinana Freeway - and you would not have seen vital new regional initiatives like the Busselton Bypass or the sealing of the road between Mt Magnet and Leinster.
Mr Criddle said the $128 million Kwinana Freeway project was scheduled for completion in June this year, completing the ‘Superway’ between Joondalup and the Peel Region six months ahead of the time originally planned.
“This is a magnificent project that replaces traffic lights with bridges at five intersections and extends the freeway 15km from Thomas Road to Safety Bay Road, linking with the dual carriageway on Mandurah Road.
“We have also extended the Mitchell Freeway to Hodges Drive, which means that in a few months’ time people will be able to travel 115km between Joondalup and Mandurah without encountering a single traffic light.
“The Joondalup-Mandurah transport corridor is coveted by other Australian cities, not only because it provides a safe, modern freeway for cars and commercial vehicles, but also because of its bus rail-rail passenger transfer facilities and unique features such as the dedicated bus transitway being built between Murdoch and the Perth CBD.”
Mr Criddle said the new Rockingham- Mandurah rail would run for 12km down the middle of Kwinana Freeway, with passenger transfer stations on the corridor at Berrigan Drive, Beeliar Drive and Thomas Road.
“When we came to power in 1993 we mapped out a program of priority metropolitan and regional transport projects and I hold grave fears that if there’s a change of government ,much-needed projects will be lost,” he said.
Doug Cunningham 9321 7333