Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Statements by Members
Stirling Electorate: Roads
I rise to talk about an issue that I have discussed in this chamber on many other occasions, and that is the failure of the state Labor government to do anything about the Reid Highway in my electorate. Last Friday I had the privilege of hosting the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, the Hon. Jim Lloyd, in my office to meet with members of the Balga Action Group. The Balga Action Group have been campaigning for nine years for an overpass to be built at the very dangerous intersection of Reid Highway in Mirrabooka Avenue. The minister told the action group that in his 2½ years as minister he has never, ever come across a situation where a state government has torn up a cheque for $10 million. The Commonwealth had offered $10 million for this overpass to be built, and astonishingly the state Labor government minister tore up that cheque.
Just to remind the House, this road is 100 per cent the responsibility of the state government. Yet extraordinarily, when the Commonwealth comes and offers them $10 million to build infrastructure on one of their roads, they fail to match the funding and accept this offer. That money has now been reallocated in other parts of Australia, and 13 other local councils will be spending that money. I think my community is pretty outraged by that.
The local community, through a recent red spot survey which was run by a local community newspaper group, the RAC and Channel 7 put the Reid Highway and Mirrabooka Avenue intersection as the 16th worst in Western Australia. The intersection that the state government continues to say is the worst, based on figures that they refuse to make public, the Reid Highway/Alexandra Drive intersection, was not one that was rated by the community at all.
The intersection at Reid Highway and Mirrabooka Avenue is only going to get busier as that area develops further. I do not want to have another family suffer a devastating tragedy in order to get the state government to listen. It is time now for action and I will not stop lobbying my colleagues to put that money back on the table. Extraordinarily, in the Stirling Times, one of my local community newspapers, the WA transport and infrastructure minister, Alannah MacTiernan, said something along the lines of, ‘Well, we don’t do anything until there is a federal Labor government.’ She is essentially threatening my constituents—unless they vote Labor, the state government is not going to put any infrastructure into my electorate. That is what this state government has come to. They are extraordinarily precious, they are extraordinarily arrogant and they are extraordinarily out of touch.
It is disgraceful that they hold my electorate to ransom, but I give a commitment to my electorate that I will continue to be lobbying for this overpass to be built, and I call on the state government to put politics aside and join me in building this much needed local infrastructure.