Gelorup residents question plans for Bunbury outer ring road project

Concerns continue to be raised over the route of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road after the first two community reference group meetings were held.

On June 26, more than 300 people attended a community meeting which included representatives from Main Roads and the Shire of Capel.

Gelorup resident Barney Tompkins said he left the meeting with the impression that nothing was set in stone, in terms of what route the outer ring road would take.

Since then, Main Roads has set up two community reference groups, one representing northern residents such as Bunbury and Dalyellup and the other representing south side communities including Gelorup.

Resident and reference group member Jeff Mcdougall said he felt like the second meeting was a ‘smoke and mirrors’ type scenario and had given residents the ‘tick and flick’.

He said the proposal they wanted to go with was too old and wouldn’t accommodate for the future.

Greater Bunbury resident Brian Rhettinger, who is on the northern reference group, said the plan has been around so long that it was a ‘dinosaur’.

Mr Tompkins is not part of the reference groups, but was protesting outside when he was asked to join in on the meeting and listen.

He said the meeting made him worried that Main Roads were not going to listen to the concerned residents.

“As a local resident, this will have such a massive impact on the southern sector,” he said.

“Yes the plan has been around for ages, but things have changed.

“The whole scheme of things has changed.

“Where does the expansion go into the future? I don’t see the logic.”

According to Main Roads, the Bunbury Outer Ring Road consists of three sections – the northern section between Forrest Highway and Boyanup Picton Road, the central section (which was completed in May 2013 and connects Boyanup Picton Road and South Western Highway), and the southern section between South Western Highway and Bussell Highway. 

The last stages of the project have been given more than $600 million of federal and state government funding.

Main Roads did not respond in time for publication.

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