A Bunbury resident is concerned the community doesn’t understand the implications of the proposed Bunbury Outer Ring Road project.
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.
In recent weeks community reference groups for the northern and southern sections met for the first time to discuss possible routes and the impacts of the communities living close by.
Brian Rhettinger, who is on the northern reference group said the plan had been around for too long.
“The trouble is, it’s been in the planning stages for so long it’s become a dinosaur, now the reasons it existed back in the 1980s are suddenly overshadowed by community growth in Gelorup and Meadows Landings,” he said.
“I’m very suspect about the motivation of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road team, that they’re being 100 per cent honest with us about what is driving this highway.”
Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts said planning studies initially identified a broad corridor which was assessed against technical, environmental, social and economic factors to select and refine the alignment on which the highway would be constructed.
“This work will take 18 months to two years, and involves community and stakeholder engagement to ensure they can have input into the conceptual design as well as influence relevant matters,” he said.
With $560 million committed to the project from the federal government and another $106 million announced in this years state budget for it, Mr Rettinger questioned what the driving force was.
“They said it was about the heavy haul truck traffic and that part of its strategic national importance has to do with the future expansion of the port and making sure that the roads to the port are clean and obstruction free so they can get straight into the port,” he said.
Currently the only plan available on the Bunbury Port website is from 2009.