Wanneroo businesses fear interchange will result in job losses

Wanneroo business owners are concerned about the interchange's impact on local shops.
Wanneroo business owners are concerned about the interchange's impact on local shops.

BUSINESS owners are concerned about the effect the Wanneroo Road-Joondalup Drive interchange will have on access to their premises.

Wanneroo Botanic Gardens owner Paul Woodcock said the $50 million flyover would “significantly” affect his business, which includes Leapfrogs Cafe and the mini golf course.

“The reality is it is forcing people to come through the Drovers car park and they are not doing anything to upgrade the carpark,” he said.

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Mr Woodcock described the upgrade as a “pointless exercise” since the freeway extension opened, relieving traffic pressure.

He said there had been three meetings, but they were simply to tell people about the plans, not discuss whether the upgrades were still needed.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the project was a key election promise, and construction would create more jobs.

Drovers Market Place owner Ray Jackson said businesses within the precinct might have to put off staff or close their doors if the project went ahead without addressing access issues.

“It seems to me a complete waste of money,” he said.

“We have not seen any finalised plans how the businesses at Drovers can get in and out, or our customers.

“They say it’s going to create 180 jobs – that’s for about 12 months only.

“We employ 300 to 400 people on site here – ours are permanent.

“It is a bit hard on the businesses; it means loss of employment.”

Responding to questions from Community News, a spokesman from the minister’s office said liaison with local businesses had been ongoing since the project was announced in mid-2017.

“We consider the impact of the modifications on access/egress from the Drovers precinct to be minimal as alternative access points remain available,” he said.

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