FRUSTRATED southeast metropolitan businesses have called on both major political parties to commit to building the $160 million Armadale Road Bridge and connection to Kwinana Freeway.
Last week, Labor transport and infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese announced $80 million in funding for the bridge if elected, but the remaining $80 million would need to be funded by State and local governments.
The Federal Liberal Party and the State Government have yet to announce whether they will fund the bridge.
The Comment News asked the City of Armadale and Transport Minister Dean Nalder if they had any intention of contributing to the cost of the project, but did not receive a response before going to print.
State Opposition transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said the project was a priority.
“All of our election commitments will be outlined in the lead-up to the State election, but obviously such a contribution from the Federal Government would make it easier to get this project underway,” she said.
Business Armadale president Paul Harrison said small businesses in Burt were suffering because of serious traffic congestion around Armadale Road.
“While recognising that the Armadale Road widening is already funded, business owners can see it is still some years off and not yet guaranteed to connect with Kwinana Freeway,” Mr Harrison said.
“One of the key things in business is you want to be reliable and on time and it’s very hard to do that if you rely on Armadale Road,” Mr Harrison said.
“It all impacts on profit. Time is money and delays cost money, which then costs jobs at the end of the day.
“A lot of our staff live locally and just getting to work becomes a time-consuming issue for them.
“We are based in a growth area and this is where we need the infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, community pressure is mounting on politicians to back the Fund our Future campaign for a dedicated national infrastructure fund for fast-growing outer suburbs.
A key milestone was reached last week with more than 40,000 emails sent to politicians in Canberra, with many of those coming from the City of Armadale.
National Growth Alliance chairman Glen Docherty said he was pleased that there was interest federally in “30-minute cities”.
“But at the moment, residents in our areas have congested roads, poor public transport and inadequate access to health facilities,” Cr Docherty said.
“That means for our communities, it’s more like 90-minute cities.
“A national dedicated infrastructure fund would address the infrastructure backlog in fast-growing outer suburbs and future-proof them as they continue to grow.
“This would lead to a reduced cost of living, less stress and a better quality of life.”
The petition can be signed online at www.fundourfuture.info.