Funding underdelivers

City of Swan CEO Mike Foley at Lloyd Street... the council and local businesses had been lobbying for a full upgrade to Lloyd Street but will have to settle for the smaller underpass project. Picture: Matthew Poon d348245
City of Swan CEO Mike Foley at Lloyd Street... the council and local businesses had been lobbying for a full upgrade to Lloyd Street but will have to settle for the smaller underpass project. Picture: Matthew Poon d348245

The $57.7 million project is largely being driven by construction of the new St John of God Midland public hospital, which requires unimpeded access via Lloyd Street for emergency vehicles when it opens next year.

The Federal funding, which was first pledged in 2006 but had not been provided, was allocated in Tuesday’s 2014-15 Budget.

But it still falls well short of the total funds needed for a full upgrade of Lloyd Street from the Great Eastern Highway bypass, across the Helena River and into Midland.

The City of Swan and local businesses had been lobbying heavily for that larger project which would connect Midland to the major thoroughfare, make it more accessible for tourists, and bring it to within 19km of Perth Airport.

Swan Chamber of Commerce chief executive Sandra Wallis said the chamber welcomed the funding for the underpass, but was disappointed there would not be a full Lloyd Street upgrade.

‘We have been lobbying for that for the past 16 years,’ she said.

‘This $10 million, while welcome, is not new money.’

Construction of the underpass, due to begin this year, is part of the Federal Government’s commitment to build major infrastructure worth a total of $50 billion across the nation over the next five years. The Hasluck electorate will receive a $730 million slice of those funds.

Other major local projects for the electorate include:

State Transport Minister Dean Nalder’s prediction of Federal funding for the Berkshire Road-Roe Highway intersection was fulfilled, which will allow for a much larger upgrade of the black spot, where 172 crashes have been reported in the past five years.

The State Government had earlier locked in $15 million in funding for the intersection but it had been feared the construction of a full interchange, with Roe Highway passing over Berkshire Road, would likely result in a delay of the project.

However, when the funding was announced, it was revealed the start date would remain the same, with construction expected to begin later this year.

Hasluck MHR Ken Wyatt said the $730 million in funding would support much-needed infrastructure projects across the electorate.

‘They will bring job opportunities, boost our local economy and make our roads safer,’ he said.

‘Projects like these will unlock the economic capacity of the region, making it an even better place to live and do business.’