Exclusive: Bill Shorten one-on-one on Hasluck, NBN and road congestion

Bill Shorten (centre) followed by ALP Candidate for Hasluck Bill Leadbetter at the Centrepoint Shopping Centre in Midland. Pictures: David Baylis
Bill Shorten at the Centrepoint Shopping Centre in Midland.  Bill Shorten comes to Midland.
Bill Shorten comes to Midland.
Bill Shorten (centre) followed by ALP Candidate for Hasluck Bill Leadbetter at the Centrepoint Shopping Centre in Midland. Pictures: David Baylis Bill Shorten at the Centrepoint Shopping Centre in Midland. Bill Shorten comes to Midland. Bill Shorten comes to Midland.

Arriving in style on Labor’s touring bus – dubbed the ‘Bill bus’ – Opposition Leader Bill Shorten spoke exclusively to Community Newspaper Group about Hasluck, his party’s plans for the NBN and local road congestion.

FEDERAL Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has added to the long list of ministers to visit Midland ahead of the July 2 election.

Mr Shorten spoke to Community Newspaper Group as he dined at a local cafe, before being swarmed by national media at Midland Centrepoint (see video below)

“I’m out here talking about Bill Leadbetter, who’s a great candidate (for Hasluck),” Mr Shorten said.

“We’re also making an overdue and modest, but I think pretty useful, infrastructure announcement.”

The Opposition Leader pledged $43 million to a traffic overpass on Roe Highway at the Kalamunda Road intersection.

“We’re doing this because Roe Highway is a major transport route,” he said.

“This will be a priority as soon as we’re elected.

“The Infrastructure Australia Audit Report said this was a priority, so we want the WA Government to contribute funds to get this underway.

“If we can tackle congestion then it’s going to improve productivity in the area.”

Midland MLA Michelle Roberts said improvements to the overpass would make a big difference for locals.

“This announcement is brilliant, and the big focus is what it will do for the freight link,” Ms Roberts said.

“If you live up the Hills, in Kalamunda, Maida Vale, any of that area up the top of Kalamunda Road, you come down Kalamunda Road (and) it’s a real bottle neck at the Roe Highway intersection.

“It’s brilliant for the freight and on an economic basis, but also for the commute times of local residents.”

NBN was another hot topic for Mr Shorten.

“What we are committing to is investing in best-class technology fibre, which means we will be able to extend fibre to the premises of two million more households in outer suburban and regional Australia,” he said.

“It’s affordable because if you have better technology, more people will join up to NBN.

“It’s a game changer for small business, for schools, for everyone in the area.”

Ms Roberts, the State opposition spokesperson for business, said the Hasluck region benefited largely from the commitment.

“Sixty-thousand homes in this region will be connected, which I understand is the biggest commitment made to any Federal electorate,” she said.

“This includes Midland, Swan View, Stratton, Jane Brook, all of Forrestfield, including Maida Vale, High Wycombe and Kalamunda, as well as the Mundaring area.

“Liberal neglect will see this area benefit.”

The Labor leader also discussed the hot topic of public transport in the northeastern corridor.

“We will put in $1 billion of grant funding,” he said.

“We think Metronet is a pet project. We can provide better public transport options that ease road congestion and give people choices.

“Great cities need great public transport; you can’t become a great city if you don’t have great public transport.”

Next stops on the ‘Bill bus’ are the seats of Fremantle and Burt.