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Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Page: 376

Mr WYATT (Hasluck) (09:48): I rise today to highlight the need for action to be taken to improve a critical piece of transport infrastructure in my electorate. The Berkshire Road and Roe Highway intersection handles tens of thousands of vehicles every day. A large proportion of these are road trains and heavy haulage vehicles. It is common to see huge pieces of mining equipment and special buildings being transported through this intersection to the mines in the north. Truck drivers have expressed their frustration at having to take unnecessary risks through the disjointed intersection. The need for an upgrade to this intersection was recently highlighted when a truck rolled over and spilled its load, stopping traffic in one direction for hours. Mercifully, no-one was seriously injured, but many similar cases such as this one have taken place in the past. For my constituents one incident of this nature is one too many, and when I have been out in the community many have approached me to express their concerns.

I believe that this issue is of critical importance not only to the people of Hasluck but also to those in the electorates to the south and south-east of mine. To this end I organised the first joint meeting of local governments in Hasluck to thrash out a unified approach to the problem. Work is being done by all parties to find a solution. I have also written to several ministers in the Western Australian government to highlight this issue and bring it towards the front of the queue for funding. These conversations have been constructive. The Minister for Transport, Mr Buswell, understands the need for the upgrade but, unlike the Gillard government, Western Australian ministers are financially responsible, so I will have to fight hard to keep the spotlight on the intersection.

At this point I would like to call on the federal government to inject funds into an urgent upgrade for this intersection. Western Australia provides a disproportionate amount of wealth into the national treasury and it is our roads that bear the brunt of this activity. WA receives a grossly small amount of GST revenue in return, which impacts on the state's capacity to address infrastructure needs such as this intersection. I firmly believe that a significant amount of federal funds should therefore be directed into WA infrastructure to support this growth and so the Berkshire Road-Roe Highway intersection can take its place alongside other pieces of infrastructure upgrades such as the Great Northern Highway bypass. The number of trucks heading north is significant.

There are too many transportation upgrades to mention in Western Australia so I will focus on the ones in my electorate, the most important being the Berkshire Road-Roe Highway intersection. I call on the federal government to inject funds into this area as soon as possible. In the realities of governance and finances, more money will always be needed somewhere. This has been the case since Federation. I invite Minister Albanese to come to Hasluck and explain why this intersection and other upgrades cannot take place because of Labor's financial mismanagement.