City of Busselton council to tackle the Eastern Link again

The Eastern Link development would cross the Vasse River from Causeway Road to Peel Terrace. Image supplied.

The Eastern Link development would cross the Vasse River from Causeway Road to Peel Terrace. Image supplied.

City of Busselton officers have recommended that council progress with the Eastern Link pending environmental approvals after further public consultation was undertaken.

In April, councillors deferred making a decision about the Eastern Link so more public consultation could be taken following strong opposition from parts of the community about the development.

Instead of the Eastern Link, which would connect Causeway Road with Peel Terrace via a bridge across the Vasse River, residents have called for the city to develop Ford Road.

Ford Road is one of the five initiatives the city hope to develop in the future at a cost in excess of $20 million, the project would require a new environmental plan.

Ford Road runs alongside RAMSAR listed wetlands and a previous application to develop the road was rejected in 2010 by the Environment Minister because it was not environmentally acceptable.

If the city wishes to progress with Ford Road they need to address environmental issues raised by the Environmental Protection Agency Bulletin 975 and put forward a new proposal.

The Eastern Link is another of the five initiatives the city hope to achieve to improve traffic flow into Busselton’s town centre at a cost of $4.15 million for stage one of the project.

If the council agree with the officer’s recommendation to progress the Eastern Link a roundabout would also be installed at the Albert and Queen Street intersection.

Road upgrades would also be completed at the Albert and West Street intersection along with the intersection at Strelly Street and Causeway Road.

It would also mean the city could progress seeking environmental approval for Ford Road.

During the consultation period Catalyse Pty Ltd conducted a community survey with 430 responses from random residents and 257 responses from people who elected to complete the survey.

The Eastern Link had the least level of support out of all the road network upgrades.

Of the random respondents 61 per cent showed support for the city’s five-staged implementation of road upgrades with 20 per cent opposing the project.

Fifty-eight per cent of the random respondents showed support for the Eastern Link with 30 per cent opposing the project.

For the Ford Road option, 67 per cent of random respondents showed support with 16 per cent opposing the project.