Blame game over highway

Blame game over highway

Labor MPs Rita Saffioti and Mick Murray have both fired shots at the Barnett government for doing “nothing” in their term to advance the building of a dual carriageway from Capel to Busselton along Bussell Highway. 

Their comments come after City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley and Member for Vasse Libby Mettam have both written letters to the new Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti in the hopes of securing Labor’s support and funding for the road upgrades. 

Ms Saffioti said the Labor government recognises the importance of the project and it would be put to consideration under budget processes. 

“I have been advised that all of the preliminary works have not been undertaken,” Ms Saffioti said. 

“The previous government had eight and a half years to build the dual carriageway on this stretch of road and failed to do so. 

“In the meantime, Main Roads WA will continue to work with the Shire of Capel and the City of Busselton to finalise planning and design works for widening of Bussell Highway between Busselton and Capel.”

Member for Collie Preston Mick Murray echoed Ms Saffioti’s comments and said the project would be considered as part of the “normal budget process”. 

“The Member for Vasse had two and a half years as a member of the previous state government and did nothing to advance this project,” Mr Murray said. 

A Main Roads WA spokesman said all required land for the upgrade had been acquired, service relocation had commenced and design works were likely to be completed next year.

Further works including road and bridge designs, geotechnical, environmental and heritage impact and service and utility impact investigations are being undertaken in consultation with the City of Busselton and Shire of Capel.  

“We are continuing to seek funding for the project from the state and federal governments and if funding for the project is granted, then construction could commence as early as 2017/18.” 

Have your say: Should the government stop playing the blame game and commit to the dual carriageway on the Bussell Highway? Why or why not? Email editorial.bdmail@fairfaxmedia.com.au.