PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined Premier Mark McGowan at the ceremonial opening of the Mitchell Freeway extension this morning.
Main Roads expects to open the road to motorists tomorrow morning but it will depend if weather conditions allow white line markings to be completed tonight.
Mr Turnbull said the 6km extension, which received the majority of its funding from the Federal Government, was part of the Government’s “practical commitment to make up for the unfair distribution of the GST to WA”.
“It is an absolute demonstration of our commitment of putting dollars to work to build more infrastructure in WA in partnership with the State Government,” he said.
He described his previous day’s meeting with Mr McGowan as a “cordial and constructive” discussion about infrastructure and was committed to road and rail projects in the State.
Mr Turnbull also congratulated the workers and contractors involved for delivering the project on time and under budget, and said the extension would be of great benefit to drivers.
“Less time in traffic allows motorists to spend more time with their families or more time at work,” he said.
“It means quicker, safer and cheaper commuting for individuals and businesses.”
As a Rockingham resident, Mr McGowan said he knew “a thing or two about congestion” and like his area, the northern suburbs were rapidly growing.
“The freeway will ensure a lot of those traffic bottlenecks here in the northern suburbs are resolved,” he said.
“Less time commuting means more time spent at home with the family – and this can only be a good thing.”
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the extension was part of a plan to address congestion and create jobs.
“Access to the growing outer northern suburbs will be further bolstered by the future Metronet rail line to Yanchep,” she said.
Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts called it a historic moment as the freeway entered the City’s boundary.
“The community involvement, the community support to ensure that the freeway is within our boundaries is not to be underestimated, they have been amazing in their support in this project,” she said.
According to Moore MHR Ian Goodenough, about 70,000 residents in the northern suburbs will be able to connect more easily to Joondalup.
“It will open up Neerabup as a vibrant commercial hub within 5km of Joondalup CBD creating a market for professional services and supplies from the 20,000 workers expected to be located there,” he said.
Other guests included Main Roads staff and workers involved in the project, Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard, Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher and local State and Federal politicians.