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Monday, 21 May 2012
Page: 4866

Mr IRONS (Swan) (10:36): Towards the end of last year, I was visited by an action group of the Hubert Street residents concerned about the traffic debacle on their street. The situation has been caused by changes to the speed limit on the Albany Highway, rendering the highway less efficient and resulting in vehicles choosing to bypass the 40 kilometre per hour speed limit in favour of the parallel residential street, Hubert Street. Having had my electorate office at the corner of Hubert and Mint for 4½ years, I can confirm this to be the case, with many cars cutting through to get to Shepparton Road or Oats Street faster and avoid the Albany Highway, which has been substantially slowed down. As you would expect, with the increase in traffic volume with people who are trying to get to their destination faster, residents have been finding cars travelling at high speeds and turning the road into a busy thoroughfare, detracting from what had been a quiet, residential street. Statistics show that since 2005 traffic levels on Hubert have increased by 50 per cent and other comparable streets in the area carry less than half its volume. As one resident, Treena Lewis, said in the local paper:

On Albany Highway, police sit there almost every morning and pick people up, so what people do is they nip down Hubert Street and cut through here, you can do 50 kilometres an hour down here and only 40 on the Albany Highway.

She said 85 per cent of the people are speeding over 50 kilometres per hour. While the 40 kilometre per hour zone enforcement may or may not have its merits, it is clear that the decision has had an unwelcome impact on this residential street and that some modifications to road layout are required to protect the residents.

The residents approached me as they felt that no-one had been listening to their concerns. In the past, the council had been asked by the residents to demonstrate their level of concern in the community via a petition. The residents gathered 66 signatures and felt they were getting somewhere, but things just disappeared into the ether. I was pleased to receive the group in the my electorate office and committed to representing their concerns to the authorities. A day after the meeting, I met with the CEO and the mayor of the council and put their case forward. The CEO made some commitments, one of which was an independent study to monitor the traffic. This independent study has now been completed, but it has been disappointing for the residents. I have written to the CEO with my concerns. The report has one major assumption. The report says on page 4:

It was assumed that all other vehicles travelling along only part of the route were deemed to be locals accessing the road network and not 'Rat Running'.

I think most of the locals in this area would disagree with that assumption, which the report's sole conclusion is based on. The result was a false conclusion in the report that the majority of the traffic using Hubert Street was not through traffic, when, as residents have said, almost all traffic between Miller and Mint streets does not go to or from residential properties but instead travels from end to end. I note that action group coordinator Rob Howard said in the Canning Examiner on 9 November:

We've now got universal support in terms of the residents, which is good and we've demonstrated that for council.

I will continue to support the residents.