Alannah MacTiernan

Alannah MacTiernan

Minister for Planning and Infrastructure

    Hardship assistance granted to Albany property owners

    5/09/2005 12:00 AM

    State Cabinet has approved a funding allocation to address hardship issues and enable the early purchase of land associated with the future development of the Albany Ring Road.

    Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan today announced that funding had also been approved to get detailed planning under way of Stages Two and Three of the road.

    The funding allocation of up to $4.3million would be used in the early purchase of land from owners suffering hardship along Stages Two and Three of the proposed ring road alignment, and to enable detailed planning of Stages Two and Three to be completed.

    “While the Government’s commitment to construct Stage One of the ring road has been welcomed by the Albany community, landowners affected by the as yet unfunded Stages Two and Three were justifiably seeking resolution of land acquisition issues after a decade of uncertainty,” Ms MacTiernan said.

    “Cabinet’s decision lays to rest 10 years of uncertainty for property owners along the Albany Ring Road alignment.

    “From the time that planning first commenced in the mid-1990s, affected land owners have been unable to develop or sell their property because of the potential impact of the future road reservation.”

    Albany MLA Peter Watson welcomed the decision.

    “I have been working with the Minister’s office and the community to solve this problem,” Mr Watson said.

    “These landowners have clearly demonstrated individual hardship and the Gallop Government has responded very appropriately.”

    Ms MacTiernan said the allocation of funds would relieve families and individuals on nine properties of a very worrying situation.

    “Main Roads Western Australia will begin talks immediately with affected landowners to finalise hardship payments as soon as possible,” she said.

    Those affected have holdings in Link Road, George Street and Cumming Road.

    The Government’s decision further demonstrates Labor’s commitment to the project and the Great Southern Region.

    The Government announced in July last year that $7.4million had been provided to construct Stage One of the project in 2005-06, 12 months ahead of schedule.

    Ms MacTiernan said Main Roads expected to call tenders for Stage One in November 2005, with the aim of beginning construction early in the New Year.

    Stage One will deliver a seven-kilometre east-west link between Chester Pass Road and Albany Highway on the town’s outskirts, removing the need for the road trains carrying logs to travel into the City down Chester Pass Road, negotiate the main Albany Rotary and then travel north on Albany Highway.

    Stage One of the project is required in the short term to facilitate the transport of blue gum logs from plantations to the east and north-east of Albany to the chip mill at Mirambeena.

    It will also benefit a proposal by Beacons Consulting to construct two 36-megawatt Biomass power stations at Mirambeena to be powered by waste timber.

    Once the three stages are completed, the ring road will provide woodchip exporters in the Great Southern an alternative direct access to the Albany Port without the need to mix with large volumes of other vehicles.

    Stage Two involves developing the ring road from the Lower Denmark Road section through to Hanrahan, or Albany Port Road, while Stage Three is the north-south section following Link Road and George Street and linking Albany Highway to South Western Highway and the Lower Denmark Road.

    By 2008, it is envisaged that there will be three companies operating in the region, exporting some 2.5million tonnes of woodchips per annum.

    Minister's office: 9213 6400