Stephenson Ave extension hinges on Stirling Mayor lobbying for Federal funds

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.

A STATE Government election commitment to partially fund a $130 million extension of Stephenson Avenue in Innaloo now hinges on City of Stirling Mayor Giovanni Italiano’s lobbying in Canberra.

“The $60 million commitment was over five years and subject to the City of Stirling delivering the project with Federal Government funding support,” Transport Minister Rita Saffioti told the Western Suburbs Weekly/Stirling Times.

On February 7, the newspaper reported then-opposition leader, now Premier Mark McGowan, promising the State money.

The plan is a cut-down version of a $300 million proposal with a flyover to take the avenue north from its intersection with Scarborough Beach Road to the Mitchel Freeway using a route through marsh south-east of the Ikea building.

The route is part of the reserve for the long-dormant Stephenson Highway that was planned in 1958 to take freeway traffic to Swanbourne and south through Cottesloe to Fremantle.

However, the current proposal is a stand-alone project, and Ms Saffioti said it was not part of the Government’s Perth-wide transport plan Metronet or funded by cancelling the $1.6 billion Perth Freight Link.

She and Mr Italiano met recently to discuss how to get the remaining funds from the Federal Government’s Smart Cities Plan.

Cr Italiano said the extension would reduce traffic congestion in Innaloo and service the touted 40,000 jobs at the new Stirling City Centre on the other side of the freeway.

He said State Government’s commitment would allow him to lobby Smart Cities, and he would go to Canberra later this month.

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