No funds in sight to fix highway issues

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Traffic banks up on Bussell Highway.
Camera IconTraffic banks up on Bussell Highway. Credit: Ben Martin

Bussell Highway continues to be snubbed by both levels of Government, with a recent focus on regional roads making no mention of upgrades to the notorious strip from Busselton to Capel.

A statement from Transport Minister Rita Saffioti this week took aim at Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s three-day WA visit which involved almost $100 million in funding for metro congestion. but nothing for the regions.

Ms Saffioti highlighted the Albany Ring Road and Karratha-Tom Price Road, supported by $35 million and $50 million respectively by the State.

The statement made no mention of Bussell Highway.

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Despite previously signalling support for the expansion, Forrest MHR Nola Marino declined to comment. No funding has yet been committed from either level of Government.

Ms Saffioti said environmental approvals were being progressed so that “when funding becomes available, we are in a more advanced position”.

“The Bussell Highway project is being considered ahead of the State Budget and, of course, we’d welcome Commonwealth funding towards the project,” she said.

Ms Saffioti’s statement comes the week after Vasse MLA Libby Mettam implored the Minister to prioritise the dangerous stretch after traffic backed up for kilometres on the highway and vehicles were at a standstill during the WA Labor Day long weekend.

Ms Mettam said she had been flooded with calls over delays and safety.

It has been identified as one of the top 10 riskiest roads in WA.

“It is critical that the State Government prioritise the dualling of Bussell Highway and clearly this hasn’t happened,” Ms Mettam said.

“There is no doubt this inadequate road contributes to the severity of crashes when they happen.”

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