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Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Page: 3295


Mr RANDALL (Canning) (19:54): Two days ago, on 24 March, a joint media statement was made by Jamie Briggs, the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, and the new Minister for Transport in Western Australia, Mr Dean Nalder. This joint statement announced that Perth motorists would have some good news: that the Kwinana Freeway congestion would be addressed through an extension and widening of the freeway between Roe Highway and Armadale Road in Western Australia. This is fantastic news for Western Australian motorists, and it is even more fantastic news for the motorists that come from the south of the city, from suburbs such as Atwell, Beeliar, Success and Honeywood. Even my constituents in the city of Mandurah will benefit from this widening of the Kwinana Freeway.

Just to put it in context, this road is five kilometres long, or thereabouts. However, onto it merges the Roe Highway, and the Roe Highway is a busy highway that pours two lanes into another two lanes onto the Kwinana Freeway, where they merge. So it produces quite chronic bottlenecks in the morning for those going to work in Perth, and for those leaving Perth in the evening, and it has been the bane of those who try and use this magnificent freeway heading south.

You would not have read about it in The West Australian newspaper, because that paper and the journalists here in Canberra are more interested in scuttlebutt and innuendo than good news. But this is really good news, because $31 million from the state government and $31 million from the federal government is going to make a huge difference to the infrastructure and the productive time that people spend on the road, it will lower business costs and it will improve the economy and help to create jobs, because people will not be spending so much time on the road. It will also help environmentally, as people will not be sitting there spewing out massive amounts of greenhouse gases, so those amongst us who have an issue with that should be happy as well.

The issue here is that, if this government had not done this under the infrastructure Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, it would not have been done, because the Labor Party, as we know, were borrowing $100 million a day from China to pay for their works. They had to, because they said they were going to get the money from the mining tax and we know the mining tax does not raise any money, so it had to be found elsewhere. A government that is interested in balancing the books and finding money in the proper places through our proper budgetary process has come up with at least $30 million to co-fund this with the Western Australian government.

The peripheral issue to this is the spin-off that will happen to cities like mine in the electorate of Canning, the City of Armadale. Between the Kwinana Freeway and the City of Armadale, there is a road that is a normal suburban road with one lane each way. It needs to be dual carriageway all the way through to the Tonkin Highway. There are matrixes of highways and roads that now need further work, and to make this dual carriageway right through to the Tonkin Highway will be of huge benefit to those living in the south-east corridor in my electorate in places such as Piara Waters, Hilbert, Harrisdale and of course the City of Armadale itself. So this is fantastic news.

In addition to this, the expansion of the Fremantle outer harbour is expected to be in operation and will create further pressure on the freeway and the capacity needed, so this upgrade is also going to address the heavy trucking industry that relies on the smooth flow of traffic in the southern corridor of Perth. The issue that has also been raised in relation to this widening is that, as I said, no-one has heard about this. But those out there listening who do not read The West Australian newspaper, but might be listening to the radio, will be happy about this today in Perth, because they have been asking: 'When is this going to happen? When are we going to know about the widening of this road?'

So here we are, coming to a Senate election in a few days. We are the party—in conjunction with the state government, the Barnett government, in Western Australia—that is going to provide this necessary infrastructure. We have been ignored previously by those opposite, and this is now finally going to be delivered for those long-suffering motorists.

The SPEAKER: Order! It being 8 pm, the debate is interrupted.

House adjourned at 20:00