On 27 April 2018 the Federal Liberal Government finalised a $5.4 billion infrastructure deal with the State Labor Government with $3.2 billion worth of federal funding.
Included in that funding deal was the Mitchell Freeway extension to Romeo Road. The deal was clear – the Mitchell Freeway extension to Romeo Road, with a total project cost of $215 million would go ahead with a $108 million contribution from the Federal Liberal Government, being 50% of the total project cost.
Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, has expressed disbelief that despite this funding deal with the Federal Liberal Government three weeks ago, the State Labor Government has put this project in doubt by not allocating any State money in the State Budget for the Mitchell Freeway extension to Romeo Road.
“Our community has run a long campaign for this Freeway extension, finally securing $108 million in the 2018-19 Federal Budget – real money in a real budget,” Mr Porter said.
“Despite a deal being done no State money was set aside in the State Budget and when asked why the WA Labor State Government share was not in their Budget, State Labor Ministers gave conflicting explanations.”
The State Labor Treasurer said in Parliament last week that the reason the project was not in the WA Budget was because the State Government needed to “understand the route definition and likely cost” of the Freeway extension.
“This excuse is completely bizarre given the project cost was agreed on 27 April 2018 and the route of the Freeway extension north to Romeo Road is well known,” he said.
“Saying that the reason there’s no money in the State Budget for the extension is because WA Labor need to “understand the route definition” is ridiculous and is no excuse for delaying the Mitchell Freeway extension to Romeo Road.
“There is no confusion regarding the route - it is in the title, the project extends the Mitchell Freeway to Romeo Road. You go to the end of the Mitchell Freeway and look north, the route goes from Hester Avenue to Romeo Road - you can even look at it on Google Maps.”
Of even more concern was the explanation given by the State Transport Minister Rita Saffioti on 17 May 2018 who said “…we want further Commonwealth funding. We would like a Commonwealth contribution of 80 per cent towards our major road projects…”
“The State Labor Government made a 50-50 funding deal with the Federal Liberal Government to extend the Mitchell Freeway to Romeo Road. The arrogance of the State Labor Government to be breaking that deal only three weeks after making it is an insult to our community who have fought so hard for it,” Mr Porter said.
“So we can start construction as soon as possible, I need your help to get State Labor Member for Wanneroo, Sabine Winton to commit the WA State Labor Government to keep their part of the deal and put their promised 50% funding for the Mitchell Freeway extension to Romeo Road in their Budget.
“Anything else is a betrayal by Ms Winton to her local community.”