The Morrison Government has increased its investment in the Tonkin Highway upgrade to $929 million, including $404 million to extend the Highway south past Mundijong Road and connect it to the South Western Highway.
Member for Canning Andrew Hastie joined the Prime Minister on Thursday to make the announcement, saying the money was further evidence of the Coalition’s commitment to SJ and the Peel region.
“This announcement builds on the commitment made 12 months ago by the Coalition, when we delivered $581 million to upgrade and extend the Tonkin Highway,” Mr Hastie said. “Back then WA Labor agreed to a 50/50 funding arrangement, but for 12 months they did nothing.”
“I know how important this project is to the growth and safety of our region, so I went back to Canberra and took the case up again. This additional funding brings the Morrison Government’s contribution to the project to a ratio of 80/20.”
“This money is in the budget. It’s not tied to the outcome of the election – it is there and ready to go. I call on WA Labor once again to use this money and start building.
“I’ve spoken to countless people around Byford and SJ about this issue over the past three years – almost everyone wants the Tonkin Highway extended. I am determined to make it happen.”
The funding will also be used to upgrade the section of Tonkin Highway between the Great Eastern Highway and Collier Road, and to construct grade separations at the Kelvin, Welshpool and Hale Road intersections.
The funding comes as part of the Morrison Government’s additional $1.6 billion investment announced this week for critical infrastructure across Perth and regional Western Australia.
It builds upon the existing $9.81 billion worth of commitments to West Australian road and rail infrastructure.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this year’s Budget would lock in further federal support for crucial infrastructure projects across regional WA.
“The upcoming Budget will continue the Liberal Nationals Government’s firm commitment to ensuring Western Australia gets its fair share of infrastructure funding now and into the future,” the Prime Minister said.
“We are prioritising investment in the major projects needed to better support regional areas, ease congestion in and around Perth and reduce the terrible impact of road trauma by delivering safer roads.”
Mr Hastie also noted that WA Labor have since committed to funding the Tonkin Highway extension, should they win government at the upcoming election. He explained that this was a meaningless announcement which duplicated already allocated funds.
“Federal Labor said they will fund the Tonkin Highway should they win the election. It’s a very deceptive announcement – this money is already in the Commonwealth budget. They're too late to the party. Labor should have been working with us 12 months ago when the Coalition delivered its first investment, not waiting for an election to come.”