Parliamentary Speech: Pinjarra Deviation Delay


Thursday 10 November 2022

It didn't take long for the Albanese government to take a sledgehammer to one of the most important infrastructure projects in Canning. It has been only six months since the election, and Labor has put the Pinjarra heavy haulage deviation on the backburner. We are only six months into the Albanese government, and they are delaying a project that will take trucks and heavy vehicles out of the historic Pinjarra township. It only took six months for Labor to show its true colours. We all know the Prime Minister and Labor have given up on the people of Canning, but delaying the start of this important infrastructure is appalling.

The shire of Murray and the people of my electorate have supported my fight to fund the Pinjarra heavy haulage deviation for years now. Back in 2017, 84 per cent of the shire of Murray electors voted yes in a referendum for the deviation. Why? Because more than 690 trucks pass through the Pinjarra township every day and the deviation will get them out of town, making the community safer and the transit easier for truckies. With the people of Pinjarra and the Peel region backing me every step of the way, we secured $200 million from the former coalition government to get this project on the road, but now Labor has hit the brakes, and work won't start until at least 2026.

The people of Canning, though, have been here before. They know that Labor is kicking this critical project into the long grass so the Prime Minister's razor gangs can quietly cut it. But I know something the Prime Minister does not: we won't take this lying down. During the last parliamentary recess, I was in Pinjarra and I saw with my own eyes a heavy load passing through town; I saw firsthand how traffic is brought to a standstill; and I saw the hazards faced by the families of Pinjarra, who battle immense semitrailers and road-borne mining equipment just to get their kids to school. We've also secured new business in the township, including renovating the historic Exchange Hotel, which will reopen soon. Pinjarra will become a great weekend location—a Fremantle down in the heart of Peel.

The people of Pinjarra are angry. They are frustrated, as I am, that projects that will make our roads safer are being pushed out and then cut. How typical is this of Labor? Just weeks ago, Premier Mark McGowan made a rare visit to Pinjarra with the Minister for Transport and Planning, Rita Saffioti, and the Pinjarra state MP, Robyn Clarke—who has remained silent on this—to announce that construction on the deviation would begin in 2024. But where is Mark McGowan and where is Robyn Clarke now that the project has been kicked into the long grass? He's run a million miles, and she's run a million miles. It's not good enough for them to turn up for a photo opportunity and take credit for a road that we delivered the funding for. The people of the region trusted Mark McGowan and Robyn Clarke to fight for our community. They trusted Anthony Albanese to deliver, but they have been let down. I call on the Prime Minister to reverse this appalling decision and get this project off the ground as quickly as possible.

You can find the video of my speech below.