Leaders meet with transport minister over Bunbury Outer Ring Road

Two local shires have met with transport minister Rita Saffioti to express concern over the proposed Bunbury Outer Ring Road design.

Representatives from the City of Bunbury, Shire of Harvey, Bunbury MLA Don Punch and Main Roads met with the minister in Perth on Monday.

Ms Saffioti said it had been positive to hear the City of Bunbury and Shire of Harvey remain supportive of the project and recognise its need to support population and freight growth.

“Both the City of Bunbury and Shire of Harvey put their views across, and Main Roads will continue to investigate ways of optimising access to all areas of the project,” she said.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said he was confident Bunbury’s needs would be well met with the project despite City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan previously voicing concerns over maintaining the city’s primacy.

“There was a proposal put forward by the Harvey representatives in relation to some of the interchange issues at Raymond Road and the City put forward alternative options for consideration for the northern interchange,” Mr Punch said.

“The design of this road has to take into account safety considerations for all users, it has to meet its objectives in providing free flowing traffic, we have to recognise that there is a significant proportion of traffic that does go south all ready.”

Shire of Harvey president Tanya Jackson said she was concerned about the links between the community and the impact of the infrastructure on Australind and Meadow Landings communities.

“We know traffic through our area is already a problem,” she said.

“We also know with Albemarle developing in our shire that truck movements will be significantly increased and the projections for traffic movements over the next 40 years would mean we absolutely need to do something about the design of the roads in our area – that is something we can’t ignore.”

During the meeting the City of Bunbury provided an alternate, which would see the Bunbury Outer Ring Road connect with the Forrest Highway.

Mr Brennan updated councillors at last nights City of Bunbury Council meeting and said he had explained to the minister that the current interchange was more of a barrier than a welcome into Bunbury.

"The principle argument has always been that we want the primacy of Forrest Highway to be maintained," he said.

"The minister gave a commitment to me that she would get Main Roads to examine this concept and go back to her with a response, I expect that will happen fairly rapidly.

"It's a matter of waiting for the minister to get back to us on her response to this concept, which I think, I hope will work for us."