Mayor slams road snub

MELVILLE mayor Russell Aubrey has slammed the McGowan government for freezing his council out of planning a link between Murdoch Drive, Kwinana Freeway and Roe Highway.

“WAKE UP MELVILLE!” Mr Aubrey posted in full caps to a social media site earlier this week after the plans were released by Main Roads.

“This is the proposed plan for the linkage from Roe Hwy to Murdoch Dr with construction to start in just four months.

“It has been designed with grade separation (fly-over) at Farrington Rd in consultation with stakeholder representatives from the cities of Cockburn, Fremantle and the Member for Willagee. The City of Melville were excluded.

“With this new fly-over at Farrington Rd the concern for Melville residents appears to be that all Fremantle bound traffic is diverted away from Cockburn, along some of Melville’s already busiest roads.”

Mr Aubrey later told the Herald the city welcomed the federal funding for the project, which would provide a southern access to the burgeoning $3 billion Murdoch health precinct.

“Unfortunately, the City of Melville was not invited to provide input and was not aware of any intention to revamp the design for the Murdoch Connection.

“We only became aware of the amended plan after it passed through Cabinet and we were informed by Main Roads WA last week.”

Rubbing salt into the wound, Mr Aubrey said he’d been contacted by a constituent a couple of weeks ago asking him why he wasn’t at the meeting attended by representatives from the other affected councils and Labor MP Peter Tinley.

“Further to that Cockburn councillors have been informed that their officers have had input into the new plan, and I have it on good authority that the redesign came about as a result of pressure applied on Mr Tinley by members of his Willagee electorate.

Mr Aubrey said with most traffic coming east from Roe Highway and south from Kwinana Freeway, the disconnection of Bibra Drive and grade separation of Farrington Road would push it away from Cockburn and into Melville suburbs.

“Roe 8 was proposed to channel traffic onto a lights-free single road to Stock Road,” Mr Aubrey said.

“If the grade separation and closure of Bibra Drive is deemed necessary, it should be supported with a left turn in and right turn out of Farrington Road west. This would negate the need for an additional roundabout on Murdoch Drive and would help spread the load of traffic away from the busy South Street/Murdoch Drive intersection.”

It goes almost without saying that Mr Aubrey says the real solution was to simply finish the Perth Freight Link.

by STEVE GRANT

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