Hopeful for highway funds

VASSE MLA Libby Mettam is hopeful there will be funding in the upcoming state budget for the dualling of Bussell Highway between Capel and Busselton.

Her comments come after the federal goverment announced it would fund the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.

The road was one of ten infrastructure projects identified by the RAC as needing urgent government support.

The federal government announced on Friday that it had committed $560 million to complete stages two and three of the construction.

The funding will allow the section of the road between the South Western Highway and the Bussell Highway, along with the section from the Perth-Bunbury Highway to near Picton Boyanup Road, to be completed.

Despite being listed as one of WA’s top 10 most risky roads in RAC’s 2016/17 Risky Roads survey, the Bussell Highway stretch is deemed as a maintenance and safety work, rather than infrastructure.

Ms Mettam said the Bunbury Outer Ring Road was a federal priority, but the responsibility of the dual carriageway in Capel fell to the state government.

“It is a credit to our federal Member for Forrest, Nola Marino, that this investment has been attained for this project for the benefit of the South West,” she said.

“Given the state needs to only contribute 20 per cent of the cost of the Outer Ring Road, the state should be outlining its timeline for the dualling of the Bussell Highway in Capel.

“I certainly hope and expect the State Government to commit funds in next week’s budget.” The state’s transport minister Rita Saffioti did not respond in time for publication but has previously stated Bussell Highway would be considered along with other high priority improvement projects across the WA road network in future budget processes.

WA treasurer Ben Wyatt will hand down the 2018-19 Western Australian State Budget on May 10.

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the Bunbury Outer Ring Road was a massive boon to the South West.

“This will improve road safety and travelling time for people,” she said.

“The road will also facilitate the development of the Bunbury Port and South West industry.” RAC corporate affairs general manager Will Golsby welcomed the funding from the federal budget.

“We will now work through the detail and engage with the State and Federal Governments to confirm timing of these commitments, to ensure RAC members and the WA community have certainty in relation to the delivery of each project, including when they will commence,” he said.

Source: Busselton Dunsborough Mail.