Curtin work delayed

‘It’s very disappointing because not only was it an election commitment but it was a fully funded when it was announced,’ Leighton Action Group spokeswoman Sue Harrington said.

Before the 2013 State Election, Premier Colin Barnett said funding had been secured to realign the avenue for a 1.5km stretch along the Fremantle railway line between Mosman Park’s Victoria Street station and just north of Leighton Beach apartments at North Fremantle.

Initial funding for the work comprised $7 million in 2013-2015 and $33 million in 2015-16, but after the Government’s mid-year review the allocations are now $5 million in 2016-17, $20 million in 2017-18 and $15 million in 2018-19.

Mrs Harrington said Mr Barnett told her in February the realignment would be delayed, with minor rehabilitation work brought forward.

She was not told the realignment would be delayed for three years, despite the road being a heavy transport and commuter route.

‘He didn’t give any reason, but given the State Budget situation isn’t very strong, one can only assume it was affected by that,’ Mrs Harrington said.

Opposition Transport spokesman Ken Travers said the realignment could be indefinitely delayed and showed the Government in ‘chaos’ in organising its finances.

However, Labor did not support the realignment and would have used the $40 million for its Metronet public transport plan at the election.

Asked why the realignment was delayed, Mr Barnett said ‘increased volatility’ in State revenue required reducing spending after WA’s credit rating was cut from AAA to AA+ last September.

‘There are plans to hold a briefing for affected parties on the progress of planning this year and an opportunity for community input into the process,’ Mr Barnett said.