King dubious on prospects for Perth-Darwin Highway

WARTA CEO questions if the Perth-Darwin Highway will become a reality

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | July 5, 2013

The Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA) has questioned if the Perth-Darwin Highway will become a reality, saying it is 20 years away from being built despite funding being set aside for the project.

WARTA CEO Ian King believes there is not enough money to build the road.

Main Roads Western Australia is currently undertaking a planning study for the highway between the Reid Highway and Bindoon to address the long-term needs of the project.

The Federal Government has committed $400 million to the highway.

"The Perth-Darwin Highway is a fantastic idea. However, will I ever live to see it? I don’t think so," King says.

"The reason being the cost of infrastructure to do it will be immense, especially getting out of the metropolitan area."

City of Swan CEO Mike Foley believes the highway will provide a direct link between Perth and the booming mining and tourism areas in the Murchison, Pilbara and Kimberley.

However, he does not want it to stop at Gnangara Road.

"A high percentage of traffic currently using Great Northern Highway is heavy haulage. About 17.5 percent of the vehicles on this road are trucks or road trains," Foley says.

"If the Perth-Darwin Highway stops at Gnangara Road, these heavy haulage vehicles will all end up on Gnangara Road.

"This is not ideal. We believe both stages of this project need to be considered a top priority and call on the State Government to prioritise this project."

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