Bussell Highway: Capel to Busselton not funded in budget

The Bussell Highway has missed out on funding to dual the carriageway between Capel and Busselton.

The state government announced their 2017/18 budget last week, which outlined which metro and regional roads would receive funding. 

Despite that stretch of the highway being named one of the riskiest roads in WA by the RAC, there has been no funding allocated to creating dual lanes between Capel and Busselton.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said there are a range of road issues across the state which need addressing. 

"We recognise there are a range of pressures on roads across the state, which is why the budget included a 20 per cent increase in regional roads funding.

"The budget had a strong focus on delivering election commitments. While upgrades to Bussell Highway did not get funding in this budget, we will look at opportunities through the Road Safety Program.”

The road safety program projects will be finalised later this year.

Regional roads that did receive funding including the Bunbury bypass, which has $12.5 million promised towards planning stages 2 and 3. 

Collie will also see $15 million go towards road projects, including upgrades at Raymond Road, Collie-Preston Road, Wellington Forest Road and Brookdale Road in Boyanup.

However, Member for Collie Preston Mick Murray said other parts of the Bussell Highway will receive funding.

“There is just over $34 million being spent on the Bussell Highway in thebudget amongst many other investments that highlight the government’s commitment to our regional road network.

“This expenditure is in the guise of the Vasse-Newtown section of the Bussell Highway more commonly known as the Vasse Bypass and the Margaret River Perimeter Road.”

“The Margaret River Perimeter Road is a substantial infrastructure investment and costs the budget just over $33.5 million.”

“Given the substantial investments involved in these projects and the tight finances of the state there is only so much work that could be conducted on the Bussell Highway this time round.”

“However, I have been going into bat for my local community and have lobbied hard for changes to sections of Bussell Highway around Capel where it is identified as being riskier than elsewhere.

“My talks with Main Roads WA and the Minister have been productive and we are working towards finding solutions for the obvious concerns I and the Capel community have for safety on stretches of Bussell Highway.”

In August, a petition for the widening of the Capel to Busselton stretch with 4,000 signatures was handed into parliament.