May 20, 2013

Federal budget delivers for regional WA

Today I inspected progress on the re-routing of the Great Northern Highway to the north of Port Hedland’s Wedgefield industrial estate, a part of this Federal Labor Government’s unprecedented $6.9 billion capital works programs which is being rolled out across the State.

Jointly funded by the Federal ($197.2 million) and Western Australian ($77.2 million) governments, the project is on track to be completed within the coming twelve months.  Once completed, the new section of highway will provide better access to the Port and safer driving conditions for the growing number of cars and trucks expected to use it.

In just the last three years, local traffic volumes have grown by 25 per cent to 15,000 vehicles a day.

But Federal Labor knows there’s more to be done, particularly given the economic significance and long term infrastructure needs of Regional Western Australia.

That’s why in last week’s Federal Budget we allocated $174 million to deliver the most extensive upgrade of the North West Coastal Highway since it was first sealed in 1974, almost forty years ago.  Linking Geraldton to Port Hedland, this is the State’s second longest road.

The package of works will target the 136 kilometre stretch between Minilya and Barradale and include the strengthening and widening of various sections as well as the construction of two new bridges.

That’s real money for a real project that will make a real difference.

From the outset Federal Labor’s mission has been to reverse the neglect we inherited and build the modern, well-planned transport infrastructure which makes working people’s lives easier, our businesses more competitive and the national economy stronger.

Federal Labor has always been the party of nation building infrastructure.