Road rage

Road rage

City of Canning Deputy Mayor Amanda Spencer Teo at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Leach Highway. Photograph – Richard Polden.

A war of words has erupted between the City of Canning and Riverton MP Dr Jagadish Krishnan over a notorious local crash hot spot.

The intersection of Fifth Avenue and Leach Highway in Rossmoyne has been responsible for 16 crashes over the past five years, according to recent Main Roads data.

Main Roads posted this photo of a crash at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Leach Highway in February.

Fixing the intersection was a key election promise by Labor coming into the 2021 election, but the City of Canning feels it has been blind-sided by recent announcements.

Deputy Mayor Amanda Spencer Teo has accused Dr Jags of trying to push through the $5 million fix without consulting council and local residents.

“Without community consultation, the solution Dr Jags and Main Roads WA have endorsed is to not only prevent the right hand turn onto Leach from Fifth, but also to prevent the right-hand turn entry into Fifth Ave (from Leach) which has locals fuming, but this is not all,” she said.

“The works also include major changes to the intersections of Corinthian Rd East and Leach in Riverton and Beatrice Avenue and Leach in Shelley.”

“Although it appears Dr Krishnan may be backflipping on the right hand turn into Fifth, he does not seem to be backing down on the other major intersection changes.

“During the debate on Roe 8, truck drivers lamented that between Shelley Bridge and Stirling Hwy there were 15 sets of traffic lights – this announcement takes that number to 17 after Labor installed another set of traffic lights in Myaree several years ago.

“Another set of traffic lights along Leach Hwy which will only cause more congestion along an already congested highway. The Shelley Bridge needs to be expanded, and prioritised, not more sets of traffic lights installed,” she said.

Dr Jags Krishnan said when he made the $5 million commitment to fix the issues, he consulted with the Minister’s office but when it was suggested a new set of lights be moved to the junction of Fifth and Karel Avenues, council executives rejected the proposal.

“There is no vested interest in this for me and I want to achieve the best outcome for the community,” Dr Jags said.

“A bit of land adjoining Sam Lim’s office was talked about but the discussion was killed by the City of Canning saying they are not going to sacrifice public open space.

“I am still continuing to fight.

“I see this purely as a political point scoring exercise,” he said.

When questioned by The Examiner if Canning’s Deputy Mayor Amanda Spencer Teo was raising this issue in her role as a councillor, or as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Riverton, she said she will do whatever it takes.

“This is a council issue but it’s not a Liberal Party issue, but I will make it a Liberal Party issue if I have to,” she said.

“When they first bought the idea to the City of Canning, our traffic engineers said this is nuts, there is not enough crash data to support these changes. We wanted a community consultation. We didn’t hear until after Dr Jags made the announcement,” she said.

Shelley resident Helen Lund has led the charge with a 900-person strong petition pushing for local residents to have more say about the changes.

“These changes leave only one major entry and exit into Rossmoyne being Webb Street where there is a major aged care facility at Rossmoyne Waters and hundreds of Rossmoyne SHS students crossing each morning and afternoon,” Ms Lund said.

Dr Jags said he has listened to local residents, including Helen Lund, and has told the Minister for Transport local residents are unhappy.

“Whatever the majority want, I will achieve,” Dr Jags said.

“We are going to do a complete survey of Shelley and Rossmoyne residents by the end of April.

“I have been door knocking and residents don’t have a problem with blocking the turn onto Fifth Ave from Leach Highway, they don’t have a problem with that because it can be dangerous and they have witnessed many near misses but they have a problem with blocking the right hand turn onto Fifth.

“I am not trying to gain political points here; I am trying to do what is right and safety is the issue here.

“I have asked if Main Roads will this delay the project and they said no and they said it will hopefully be completed by the end of the year.”

The City of Canning will introduce a motion to table the 900-signature petition by local residents to parliament later this year.