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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3392

Mr WILSON (O'Connor) (13:40): Next Wednesday, 2 April, I will be representing the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon. Warren Truss, in officially opening the Esperance Port Access Corridor Project. Jointly funded by the federal and state governments, the $120 million project was launched early in 2012 following a comprehensive planning and consultation exercise. This important project includes the construction of two road bridges,    a rail tunnel, a pedestrian underpass, the realignment of 1.3 kilometres of railway, the realignment of 1.8 kilometres of Harbour Road, shared-use pathways and extensive landscaping and revegetation.

The project will significantly improve safety for all road and railway users, including cyclists and pedestrians, by eliminating road and rail conflicts. It will provide the infrastructure to support the economic and regional development of the town of Esperance and the Esperance Port, and the significant mining and agricultural interests in the region. It will also enhance community access across the transport corridor through the construction of grade-separated crossings, which will be safer and more efficient than the existing railway level crossings.

On 17 February, the project reached a major milestone when the Twilight Beach Road Bridge was opened. The opening highlighted a major improvement to safety and efficiency, and signalled the end of the conflict between the port and local road and rail traffic. This much needed, well overdue piece of infrastructure is a great result for the region and is part of the federal government's program of upgrading vital regional infrastructure. I congratulate project managers Main Roads WA and the hard working staff at contractor John Holland on completing the project on time and on budget.