City of Bunbury advocating to change Bunbury Outer Ring Road

City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the decision to keep the northern interchange was difficult to accept.
City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the decision to keep the northern interchange was difficult to accept.

Following almost an hour of heated debate on Tuesday night, the City of Bunbury council voted to express their disappointment to Premier Mark McGowan regarding the northern interchange of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.

The decision follows last weeks announcement by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti that the northern interchange would remain unchanged following extensive consultation.

Prior to the council meeting on Tuesday night, City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said the decision was difficult to accept.

"We are very disappointed with the Ministers' decision to keep the proposed northern intersection design between the Outer Ring Road and Forrest Highway," he said.

"Our biggest issue has always been to put a convoluted approach to Bunbury, 18km away from our city centre is really a deterrant for people to come here and that will impact significantly.

"If that interchange is built as is then it means that the city in partnership with the government has to work harder to ensure that people do come here.

"In February we met with the Minister and put together an alternative concept that we felt maintained the primacy of Forrest Highway into our city and this has not been achieved."

During the council meeting councillor James Hayward presented a video outlining how the northern interchange would impact traffic, describing the design as a significant hinderance to Bunbury.

"It's a disaster," he said.

"It will have a financial impact on our city - the priority of us is put last."

Councillor Brendan Kelly spoke against the motion describing it as a hollow sentiment and reminding council of the importance to maintain good relationships with the state government.

Ms Saffioti said signage and landscape strategies would be included in planning to help promote Bunbury as a key destination.

Mr Brennan said he was still hoping government would reconsider the city's request with plans already underway to improve visitation to Bunbury to help curb negative impact of the outer ring road.

"The northern alignment places Bunbury at a considerable disadvantage and traffic congestion concerns need to be balanced with the local tourism, business and economic implications for our city," he said.

"Our goal all along has been to protect the primacy of Bunbury as a destination, this city is much more than just an industrial hub."