The State Government will foot the bill for the Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation project after the Federal Government pulled $200 million in funding.
As part of a recent review of Australia's infrastructure pipeline, the Federal Government cut $300 million from WA transport projects, $200 million of that set aside for the Pinjarra project.
Following the announcement, the State Government, who had already allocated $50 million towards the project, confirmed the Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation would still go ahead.
"We see the Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation as a very important project both for the efficiency of our supply chains and for the safety of people living in Pinjarra," Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said.
"This decision by the Federal Government to remove $200 million from this project is disappointing but we remain committed to seeing it delivered, with $50 million already allocated by the State."
Shire of Murray President David Bolt said the Federal Government's decision was disappointing.
“We were incredibly disappointed by the announcement to cut the funding made by Infrastructure Minister Catherine King’s department after it had already been approved at both the Federal and State level,” said President Bolt.
"Equally confusing was the statement the project did not demonstrate merit, lacked any national strategic rationale, or did not meet the Australian Government’s national investment priorities.
“As a major component linking the South West and Perth Airport via the South Western Highway, this project will provide significant improvements in safety and efficiency for trucks and road users, creating social and economic opportunities for the local community, broader South West Region
and the State."
The Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation project has been in the works for over a decade, initially raised as a priority by the community in the 1990s.
In November this year, the State Government announced an 18-month delay of the project meaning it would not get underway until at least 2026.
Mr Bolt said while he welcomes the State Government's announcement to cover the costs of the project, he hopes it will not be further delayed.
“With our population growing and traffic use continuously increasing, the issue is only getting worse with each passing year of delay. Last year, there were 795 heavy vehicle movements daily – up from 690 the year the referendum was held," he said.
“This project has been a priority for us for many years. I look forward, along with the rest of our community, to seeing further details of budget funding and hearing further about project delivery timeframes so there are no further delays to this vitally important piece of the State’s transport
The project is currently going through environmental and heritage approvals.
Once those processes are completed, the State Government will assess funding options.