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Thursday, 21 June 2007
Page: 125

Mr KEENAN (9:33 AM) —I rise to talk on a matter that I have raised in the House on many occasions—that is, the vital need for an overpass at the intersection of the Reid Highway and Mirrabooka Avenue in my electorate of Stirling. Sadly—and it is almost impossible to believe—the state Labor government has this week squandered a chance to fix this appalling black spot. I will update the House on the situation. The Reid Highway is 100 per cent the responsibility of the state Labor government, but of course, as with all of their responsibilities, they refuse to fulfil this one. For years they have promised to fix this black spot. Last week there was another crash there and, as a result, someone is in a critical condition. Apparently, this intersection is not on the list of priorities for the state Labor government.

In the 2001 federal election, the federal Labor Party put out propaganda in Stirling saying that they would fix this black spot and build this overpass. In the 2005 state election, the state Labor Party put out propaganda to my constituents saying that they would fix this overpass. Yet never once did any government allocate one cent of funding for this overpass to be built. This changed after this year’s budget, when the federal government allocated $10 million for this overpass to be constructed.

This was contingent upon the state Labor Party doing what they have promised my constituents for years: providing matching funding for this overpass to be built. The funding was put on the table after the budget, under the AusLink strategic roads program, and we needed the state Labor government to come to it and match that funding. I would have assumed automatically that they would have been happy to fulfil their promise to my constituents. It would never have occurred to me that they would reject this money, but that is exactly what they have done. There was a deadline of last Friday put on this money, because it needs to be expended within this financial year. We extended that deadline because the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Alannah MacTiernan, said that she wanted to take the proposal to cabinet on Monday. But even though we extended the deadline, the state Labor government have again refused to find any money for this overpass.

They call Alannah MacTiernan the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure; they do not call her the minister for roads, because she never builds any. Quite frankly, I find it absolutely unbelievable that the Labor Party have squandered this opportunity to fix this overpass, as 182 accidents have occurred within the last year at the intersection of Mirrabooka Avenue and Reid Highway. People are injured, maimed or killed there on a regular basis, yet the state Labor government has told the people of my electorate that they do not think that this overpass is a priority, even though in the past they have said that they would build it. The state Labor government need to fulfil their promise to my constituents, come to the party and join with the federal government in building the overpass at Mirrabooka Avenue— (Time expired)