10/12/2009 - 00:00

Road extension hold-up

10/12/2009 - 00:00

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A ROAD extension project considered vital for the development of the Rockingham/Kwinana industrial area has been indefinitely delayed due to health and environmental concerns.

Road extension hold-up

A ROAD extension project considered vital for the development of the Rockingham/Kwinana industrial area has been indefinitely delayed due to health and environmental concerns.

This is despite the industrial land precinct at North East Baldivis, which would be serviced by the extension of Mundijong Road, being nominated as a “Priority Industrial Site” in the state government’s recently released Industrial Land Strategy.

The strategy identified a key advantage of the North East Baldivis industrial site as its accessibility to major transport infrastructure, most particularly the extended Mundijong Road.

State land agency LandCorp also identified high-volume traffic from the Mundijong Road extension as being a key feature of its Rockingham Industry Zone, which includes the Kwinana Industrial Area, the Hope Valley Latitude 32 Industry Zone, and the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson.

Traffic modelling for the area undertaken in 2007 estimated freight demands would double over the next 10 years, representing a shift of about 3,600 freight vehicles per day using the extended Mundijong Road.

Construction was due to commence in February this year and be completed in April 2010, but BHP Billiton Nickel West, which has tailings ponds situated near the original proposed road route, raised potential health and safety concerns surrounding odour from the ponds.

City of Rockingham mayor Barry Sammels told WA Business News BHP Billiton voiced no apprehension during the initial planning, feasibility and design stages, but throughout the land acquisition process BHP identified operational issues relating to potentially noxious odours emanating from the tailings ponds.

Mr Sammels said BHP’s issues were being negotiated by a “working party”.

The $9.7 million extension was to be partly funded by a $6.7 million federal government Auslink Strategic Regional Programme grant, which was provided in May 2007 on the proviso the road would be completed within three years.

Rockingham City Council has committed to contributing $3 million to complete the road, but has been forced to apply for two-year extension for the Auslink grant while examining the possibility of realigning the road extension and working through land acquisition issues.

The City of Rockingham has an agreement in place with the Western Australian Planning Commission to fund any additional costs associated with land acquisition.

The original extension plans called for a four-lane carriageway to be constructed in two stages as dual land roads.

Mr Sammels said the extended road was critical for the development of the North East Baldivis industrial precinct and was hopeful a funding extension would be granted.

“Issues associated with land acquisition are still being worked through, all other approvals are in place and once land acquisition issues are resolved then approximately a 12-month tender/construction period will apply,” he said.

“This period will be subject to service utilities being able to undertake necessary works.”

In March 2000, the City of Rock-ingham identified the need for a five-kilometre extension of Mundijong Road from the Kwinana Freeway to Mandurah and Dixon roads to facilitate better commuter links and to provide a strategic freight rout.

 

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