Transcript of Joint Press Conference with Minister Dean Nalder: Kwinana Freeway at Armadale Road, Cockburn Central
24 April 2015
Dean Nalder: Look, today we're announcing the extension of the Kwinana Freeway southbound from Armadale Road through to Russell Road. We're really pleased to say that this is a joint project with the Commonwealth Government, and we're really pleased that they have stepped up to the plate to assist us in this project. Kwinana Freeway, as you can hear, is quite a busy freeway and it's continuing to grow. This is a $14.9 million extension and we know that it will see traffic increase over the next six years from 45,000 a day to 55,000 a day, so we see it as an important project. We're excited about it. Tenders will go out in mid this year and the project's expected to be completed by mid-2016.
Question: Is this a budget announcement, this one?
Dean Nalder: No, this is not a budget announcement. I'm not getting into budget announcements this week, but all budget announcements will be made in two weeks' time.
Jamie Briggs: Can I just say from the Federal Government perspective, it's always great to be here in Western Australia with Dean particularly. We find Western Australia just terrific to deal with when it comes to infrastructure. They are delivering. They're delivering effectively, efficiently. We're getting projects done quicker than planned, we're getting projects done cheaper than planned, and we're getting more projects done. And this is an example of an additional benefit for the commuters in Perth to lift the productivity, to improve the amenity of the city and to create jobs. We're going to see that with the Perth Freight Link, which I toured yesterday. We've had more discussions about this morning—we're seeing that with the Gateway project. As I say, it is always good to be here in Perth. The West Australian Government is doing extraordinarily well at delivering projects on time, ahead of budget, and delivering more benefit for Western Australians.
Dean Nalder: So, questions about that? No questions about that?
Question: I've got one. [Inaudible question].
Dean Nalder: Look, what we're always trying to do more for less, so the State Government's been very focused on how we can drive motor efficiency through our project and the extension, and with the co-operation of the Commonwealth, and the fact that we're getting projects under budget has allowed to look at expanding that. So, this has provided a great opportunity where we know traffic flows will increase by over 20 per cent or around 20 per cent over the next five to six years. So, we see this as a natural extension and a great opportunity for the commuters in Western Australia.
Question: [Indistinct] Roe Highway south to Armadale [indistinct]?
Dean Nalder: Roe Highway south to Armadale. Let me just think about that one. Yeah, look, you're talking about…
Question: [Indistinct] Kwinana Freeway.
Dean Nalder: Oh, Kwinana Freeway from Roe Highway South. Yeah, sorry. Yeah, that one is progressing really well. As you can see driving down, a lot of it's now sealed. That project is on time, well ahead of time actually, again, but what this is now allowing us to do is the total project is $75 million and we're seeing a total of seven kilometres of widening essentially from Roe Highway through here now to Russell and Gibbs. We do see two extra laneways through to Armadale Road and now we're just adding an extra laneway all the way through to Russell Gibbs to help with the flow.
Question: So, Minister, will this extension ease congestion or just keep pace with it?
Dean Nalder: Look, it is designed to ease congestion, but if you look at it, it's part of an integrated project. I'll talk more about that in a minute as well because not only are we doing this, we're adding a new station in here, which I'll talk to in a moment. We're looking at the Freight Link Project commencing early next year, which will further alleviate traffic congestion in this area. We know that the Murdoch Precinct is expected to have up to 35,000 people working in that area every day plus we're expecting 115,000 daily visitors through that Murdoch Precinct. So, this is just a part of a much grander plan around this whole Murdoch Precinct, so Freight Link Project, extra train station, widening Kwinana Freeway. So, it's one of a number of parcels that we're doing at the moment.
Question: Which projects coming in under budget have allowed for this?
Dean Nalder: The actual extension down to Armadale Road has allowed us to expand but with agreement with the Federal Government, seen an extra $14.9 million come into it. But we're seeing right across the board at the moment, projects that are coming under which is allowing us to continue to do further or more works than originally planned?
Question: So does that mean you're…[Inaudible]
Dean Nalder: We're seeing the example of the Mitchell Freeway, north to Hester Avenue, has come in at $90 million under budget. We're seeing the works that we're just starting at the moment around the Reid Highway which is Erindale through to Duffy—we've been able to extend that through to [indistinct] because it's come in well under budget as well as the Malaga Interchange. Again, we're seeing savings of up to $60 million through that project, again. So, that's just a couple but we're seeing it right across the board that projects at the moment are coming in well under, which is allowing us to do a lot more for less.
Question: Does that mean you'd expect to see those same savings happen with the new Perth Airport Rail Link?
Dean Nalder: Look, we're hopeful, you know. Again, it's a new technology. We've got contingencies in there because it's a new type of project. We've got expressions of interest in, we'll be out to tender later this year. We need to wait until we get that but we're hopeful that we'll be able to continue delivering ahead of schedule and under budget, that's what we'd like to do.