Northern suburbs politicians push for more infrastructure funding to solve congestion issues


State, Federal and Local Government politicians are calling for an extension of the Mitchell Freeway from Hester Avenue to Romeo Road.
State, Federal and Local Government politicians are calling for an extension of the Mitchell Freeway from Hester Avenue to Romeo Road.

CONGESTION in the northern suburbs remains a hot topic at all levels of government, with politicians pushing for more infrastructure funding.

Infrastructure Australia has listed addressing congestion in Perth’s northern corridor as a high priority initiative in the next five years, as well as Perth’s rail capacity.

According to the national statutory body, transport delay costs in Perth were expected to grow at an average annual rate of about 11 per cent to $16 billion in 2031.

“In the absence of additional capacity, the northern corridor is likely to become the most congested corridor in Perth, with demand expected to exceed capacity well before 2031,” it said.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the State Government supported the Mitchell Freeway extension to Romeo Road and had been developing a business case for the project, but it needed federal funding.

“We asked for the project to be included on Infrastructure Australia’s latest infrastructure priority list, which it did,” she said.

“The timing of the Mitchell Freeway extension to Romeo Road project is dependent on the delivery of Commonwealth funds.

“We have already made calls for the Federal Government to commit to the extension in their upcoming budget.”

Federal politicians Pearce MHR Christian Porter and Moore MHR Ian Goodenough launched an online campaign, www.fundourfreeway.com.au, last month and called for community support for the campaign.

The City of Wanneroo welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s focus on the need to invest in projects that reduce congestion, including the freeway extension and rail extension to Yanchep.

Infrastructure Australia identified freeway and rail extensions as priorities to address congestion. Picture: Infrastructure Australia

“Last year’s extension of the Mitchell Freeway to Hester Avenue has already improved traffic management and commute times for residents,” Mayor Tracey Roberts said.

“However, extension of the freeway through to Romeo Road and the rail line to Yanchep is needed to support the City’s rapid growth.

“These projects would also generate employment opportunities for surrounding areas.”

Ms Saffioti said about $700 million had been put towards road and rail projects in the northern suburbs in the past year.

“These projects include the Yanchep Rail Extension, two interchanges and a dual carriageway upgrade along Wanneroo Road, and the widening of Marmion Avenue,” she said.

“We also allocated $40 million for widening the Mitchell Freeway southbound between Cedric Street and Vincent Street in the last budget, which starts construction this year and will be completed in late 2019.”

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