Thousands sign Tangney MP’s petition against Murdoch Drive Connection design

THE weight of signatures gathered in the fight against the Murdoch Drive Connection design is proof the State Government needs to re-think its plan, says Tangney MHR Ben Morton.

And he could gain further support from a local council.

The selected route for the $100 million road linking Murdoch Drive to Roe Highway was announced by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti in January.

Mr Morton has circulated two petitions pushing for a re-think. As of Friday, the petitions had pulled in 4958 signatures.

“These petitions are designed to show the State Government what they would have learned through further consultation – that the community does not support the 2018 plans but they do support the original 2017 plans,” Mr Morton said.

Mr Morton said the concern for residents was limited access to Roe Highway from Bibra Drive and Farrington Road.

“They are angry the Murdoch Drive Connection will be built in our local community but we will be denied full access to it and the full benefits,” he said.

Mr Morton could potentially find support from the City of Cockburn, with Deputy Mayor Lee-Anne Smith to put forward a motion in April requesting the council write to Ms Saffioti “expressing serious concern” with the lack of public consultation and final design.

She said there had been a “rise in anger and concern” from residents in Leeming, Bibra Lake, North Lake and Murdoch Chase.

“The primary reason for the backlash stems from a narrow and limited process of consultation with Cockburn residents and significant variation to the original concept design proposed by Main Roads,” she said.

The idea could be controversial, given the City of Cockburn previously said Ms Saffioti’s plan was “the least disruptive” of those on the table.

The plan chosen by the Minister was different to the one favoured by Main Roads WA (MRWA), although MRWA spokesman Dean Roberts told Community News in February it did meet the core requirements of the project, including “improved, two-way access to the Murdoch Activity Centre from Kwinana Freeway and Roe Highway”.

The selected concept will allow drivers to enter the new extension from Bibra Drive only if they are heading north towards the Murdoch Activity Centre.

It means those looking to exit directly into Bibra Lake from Roe Highway will be pushed further down Murdoch Drive towards Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Willagee MLA Peter Tinley described it as a compromise, while the Bibra Lake Residents Association said this option had the least impact on the local road network.