LGs team up to lobby for funds

LGs team up to lobby for funds

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City of Gosnells policy assistant to the chief executive Maxine McInnes and mayor Olwen Searle are calling for the extension of the Thornlie train line. Photograph — Matt Devlin.
City of Gosnells policy assistant to the chief executive Maxine McInnes and mayor Olwen Searle are calling for the extension of the Thornlie train line. Photograph — Matt Devlin.

The cities of Gosnells and Armadale have joined calls for a dedicated national fund to fix infrastructure problems in the fast-growing outer metropolitan suburbs.

The cities are part of the National Growth Areas Alliance, a national grouping of outer metropolitan local governments, which launched the Fund Our Future campaign yesterday.

Among the infrastructure projects put forward in the campaign was the Thornlie extension in the City of Gosnells and a collaboration between the cities of Armadale and Cockburn to connect Armadale Road to the freeway and onto North Lake Road.

City of Gosnells mayor Olwen Searle said Fund our Future gave a voice to communities across the country with similar issues by demanding a change from the top.

She said the outer suburbs were in particular need because there was a lack of state funding despite huge population growth.

“If you lived in the United Kingdom and you were 16 kilometres from a major city you would be well looked after because you’d be inner city,” she said.

“We’re 16 kilometres away and the funding stops but the people keep coming.

“They keep giving us houses and they keep giving us people but they have to give us the ability to move them.”

She said the Thornlie extension, which would connect the line to the Mandurah line through Canning Vale, would reduce congestion in an increasingly crowded suburb.

“Only 20 years ago my own kids were riding horses around Amherst Road,” she said.

“The houses have come so quickly and the expansion has been so rapid that the roads are just struggling to cope with all the increased traffic that is coming into this area.”

Mrs Searle said the project would also benefit the state as a whole by allowing people from the Mandurah line to visit the stadium without having to travel to Perth first.

She said the city wanted the project done as soon as possible.

This week Transport Minister Dean Nalder said no decision had been made in relation to the timing of the extension but he has previously described it as a ‘longer term priority’.

City of Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said while Armadale and Cockburn secured $145 million in federal funding for the full duplication of Armadale Road last year the job would only be half done.

“The city is continuing its collaboration with the City of Cockburn to obtain the balance of funding required ($160 million) to link Armadale Road to the freeway and onto North Lake Road,” he said.

“Congestion at Cockburn Central spreads beyond peak periods and is creating barriers to the growth and prosperity of the region.

“Congestion on Armadale Road has a flow on effect to Ranford Road and onto Jandakot and Fremantle.

“A bridge and freeway connection at North Lake Road will complete the Armadale Road project.”

The Fund our Future campaign estimates that unless a major policy shift happens, within 15 years there will be a backlog of more than $70 billion in funding for infrastructure in areas like Armadale and Gosnells, with access to jobs and services deteriorating, increased travel times and worsening social, economic and environmental costs.

Residents are encouraged to sign the online petition at www.fundourfuture.info and to send emails in support of the projects to the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and other Members of Parliament.