Extension timetable extended

In Treasurer and Transport Minister Troy Buswell’s 2013-14 budget announcements last week, there was no mention of the project to extend the freeway 6km north from Burns Beach Road.

The budget itself included a $1 million allocation this year, then $4 million in the next financial year, $20 million in 2015-16 and then $127 million in 2016-17.

As it totalled $152 million of the $315 million extension project announced last year, Butler MLA John Quigley said Premier Colin Barnett’s Coalition Government would not provide even half of the funding needed in the next four years.

‘I’m bitterly disappointed for Butler that the Barnett government has pushed the Mitchell Freeway into the go slow lane,’ he said.

‘They are only going to spend a million over the next year.

‘They are not even going to start spending substantial money on it until 2016-17 ” that’s after the next election.

‘In four years time, that roadwork won’t even be half complete.’

Last December, Premier Colin Barnett announced funding for the extension with Mr Buswell, as transport minister, saying it would be built by mid-2017 to ease traffic pressure.

‘A six-kilometre extension of the Mitchell Freeway from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue will be built from 2014-15 to 2016-17,’ Mr Barnett said at the time.

‘This will help to relieve pressure on local roads in the growth suburbs of Clarkson, Butler and Jindalee.’

Mr Quigley said the northern suburbs population was exploding, and had many fly-in, fly-out residents who were contributing to the State’s economy.

He said the budget also held no promises to extend the rail line north towards Yanchep and no funds to fix up Wanneroo Road between Hester Avenue and Joondalup Drive.

‘There is nothing for the northern extension of the rail, not even in four years time,’ the MP said. ‘It’s just not on the Government’s horizon to put the rail north.’

With $46.5 million allocated over three years to build a multi-storey car park at Edgewater train station, Mr Quigley said there was nothing to address parking issues at Clarkson train station.

Last week, Mr Buswell said the north metropolitan region included some of Perth’s fastest growing areas, and that extension of the Joondalup railway line to Butler would continue with $66.9 million this year.

‘Extension of the Joondalup railway line to Butler continues with an estimated $66.9 million to be expended in 2013-14 on station, track works and overhead construction,’ the Budget report said.

‘Much of this work will be completed in early 2014.

‘The installation, testing and commissioning of key systems such as signalling, power, communications and security will commence in 2014.’

There was also funding for a secondary school in Banksia Grove ($29 million), Butler College ($13.5 million), north Butler primary school ($16 million) and north Yanchep primary school ($8 million).