House debates

Tuesday, 16 February 2021


Swan Electorate: Roads

7:55 pm

Photo of Steve IronsSteve Irons (Swan, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It was on 13 February last year that I rose to provide an update to the House on the Manning Road on-ramp project in my electorate of Swan, and I'm pleased to report that, after a decade of advocacy and fighting to get funding for the Manning Road on-ramp, the on-ramp is now open. I, along with the state minister for transport, opened the on-ramp on 13 July 2020. It was fabulous to have present the local MLA, John McGrath, who'd fought for years for this on-ramp, and my wife, Cheryle, who is one of the local councillors. Both played a role in getting this project going.

There has been enormous gratitude to the Morrison government since the opening of the Manning Road on-ramp, and many constituents have emailed me and families have written to me or called my office to thank me for delivering this major infrastructure upgrade. I know this has been a key issue for years for residents along the Manning Road corridor, and I'd like to thank the many residents and community groups who gave me support along the way to deliver the funding. Residents in the electorate of Swan have been calling for this upgrade since Main Roads originally drew up the plans in the 1980s. Despite the overwhelming community support for this on-ramp, we faced resistance from Labor senators, who made speeches in their chamber opposing this project. I know, Mr Deputy Speaker Vasta, you'll find that hard to believe! This project has been over 20 years in the making, and it's fabulous to see such a great outcome for the residents of Swan and all those who'll use this road and get home safer and sooner.

I originally raised this issue in parliament in 2009 and started my campaign for funding. In 2016 the federal Liberal government committed $28 million towards the $35 million project as part of an investment package in job-creating, congestion-busting road and rail infrastructure works. Works for this on-ramp commenced in 2019 and were completed in July 2020—delivered on time and on budget—and supported 100 jobs during construction. More than 7,000 vehicles will use the new on-ramp daily, reducing traffic on Canning Highway and improving travel times from five to 14 minutes, as told to me by locals, particularly during the peak hours. Previously motorists have had to deviate approximately 1.4 kilometres, including going through two single intersections at the heavily congested Canning Bridge.

This is the first new freeway entry built in Perth onto an existing freeway in over 40 years. The single-lane southbound on-ramp will enhance connectivity for residents and road users in Como, Manning, Salter Point, Waterford and beyond, and it will also service Curtin University. The design makes future provision to increase capacity for the on-ramp to be two lanes when traffic demands require it.

The Manning Road on-ramp will improve safety and congestion at the Canning Bridge and Kwinana Freeway interchange as cars will no longer need to use local roads, travelling past local parks and schools, as they will now have direct access to the south. Previous crash statistics indicate a high occurrence of total crashes—82 per cent from rear-end crashes and side-swipe crashes—among the Canning Bridge detour route. This has generally contributed to frequent lane changing and high traffic volumes and levels of congestion, which will be minimised by the completion of this southbound on-ramp. Through a series of widening works, smart freeways and intelligent transport systems in the existing area, everyday road users will experience a significant reduction in travel times. There will also be improved safety through the separation of traffic and new access routes to areas of growing development in Swan.

I'll continue to deliver congestion-busting infrastructure for the residents of Swan and am proud to be part of a government that has committed a total of over $1.64 billion towards infrastructure projects across the electorate of Swan. This includes $232 million for the Tonkin Highway gap, $207.5 million for the Oats Street and Welshpool Road level crossing removal, $75 million for the Canning Bridge bus interchange and $25 million for the causeway bridge, to name just a few. As we come out of COVID, the jobs that these projects create are crucial to WA, and at the same time the funding needed for these projects will boost the local economy. This is another fine example of the Morrison government delivering infrastructure for Swan and for projects all over Australia.

House adjourned at 20:00