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Thursday, 15 May 2014
Page: 3969

Dr JENSEN (Tangney) (09:33): I take exactly the opposite position to the member for Fremantle on this. It is interesting that her speech topic was essentially the same as mine, but I will be coming from another angle. I would like to acknowledge the important contribution the federal government will make to infrastructure in my electorate of Tangney.

In Western Australia the Liberal federal government is investing $4.7 billion over five years to build the roads of the 21st century. These roads include the Perth Freight Link, upgrades to Stock Road and High Street and, importantly, an extension to Roe Highway. The last section, or section 8, of Roe Highway is something the people in my electorate have waited for for well over 20 years.

Traffic congestion, road safety and quality of life—in other words, the amount of time spent with family rather than with a car radio in traffic—are key issues in my electorate. Finally, the people of Western Australia have a government in Canberra that can not only hear their voices from way out west, but is willing to act and act decisively.

However, it would be remiss of me not to publicly acknowledge the campaigning of my state Liberal colleagues for this extension to be built. Liberal governments are pragmatic governments, pragmatic at every level. Constructive cooperation between the federal and state governments will see this badly needed highway extension delivered. This five-kilometre new road will be a four-lane dual carriageway with a number of interchange connections. Pending final design and the outcome of a competitive build process, the project is expected to cost in the order of $1.6 billion.

The project will complement the Australian government investment in projects such as Gateway WA, the Tonkin Highway grade separations, the Swan Valley bypass and the High Street upgrades. Together, these substantial network improvements will provide a high-standard freight link through the Perth urban area, establishing the Roe Highway as the preferred east-west freight route into the Port of Fremantle. I welcome the arrangements for private sector involvement in the project. I have come to this place on this issue of the Roe Highway extension many times in the past. Often I have included the phrase adopted by many community groups, and indeed my own Liberal colleagues—'we want 8, and we won't wait'. Happily, thanks to this Liberal government in Canberra, that wait may finally be over.