Name sought for new highway

Frank Alban and Alyssa Hayden are seeking ideas for an appropriate name for the Perth to Darwin Highway. Picture: Bruce Hunt d420540
Frank Alban and Alyssa Hayden are seeking ideas for an appropriate name for the Perth to Darwin Highway. Picture: Bruce Hunt d420540

The door is also open for a completely new name for what will be one of the State’s most iconic projects.

Over the past 20 years, the $905 billion undertaking has gone by several guises, including the Perth-Darwin National Highway, Swan Valley Bypass, Perth-Darwin Highway and, more recently, the Main Roads inspired NorthLink WA.

The road will start at the intersection of Tonkin and Reid highways and connect with the existing Great Northern Highway once it reaches Muchea.

Recently appointed Transport Minister Dean Nalder will have the final say on the name and has indicated he is open to hearing community ideas.

East Metropolitan Region MP Alyssa Hayden said she was not advocating a new name but wanted to hear community feedback.

Her support for the name ‘Perth-Darwin Highway’ was also backed by former Transport Minister Troy Buswell.

‘Swan Valley is a vital tourism area and I don’t want anyone linking the word ‘bypass’ with our tourist destination.’ Ms Hayden said.

‘My biggest fear is that we’ll put in one of the biggest pieces of infrastructure this region has seen and if people don’t link it to what people have lobbied for, they’ll think it’s not been achieved.

‘It’s important we get people thinking outside the box. To me, the best way to do this is through community consultation.’

The highway is still on track to commence construction in 2016 and be complete during 2019.

Swan Hill MP Frank Alban said naming the highway after Sir Charles Court would fit in with the trend of naming prominent roads after significant West Australians, such as Tonkin, Brand and Mitchell.

He said Sir Charles contributed massively to the State as Minister for Industrial Development in the 1960s and as Premier from 1974 to 1982.

‘The area this project encompasses is significant, and there are undoubtedly many varied interests and viewpoints as to the naming.

‘(Consultation) will ensure that the communities have their voices heard,’ he said.

People interested in taking part in the naming process should call Ms Hayden on 9274 8484.