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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

23 June 2006

Mactiernan bottleneck on Perth-Bunbury highway

Western Australia’s Planning and Infrastructure Minister, Alannah MacTiernan, has consistently held up the progress of the Perth-Bunbury Highway.

The Western Australia Labor Government has taken nearly 12 months to get its documentation to the Australian Government.

The Australian Government has had it less than two weeks.

Ms MacTiernan’s department referred the project to my department for environmental assessment and we have been expecting that documentation for 12 months.

It is a matter of public record that the State Minister did not want to commence this project until 2009 and she will do anything to delay it.

This latest excuse comes after her comments to me that she desired federal funding not to be contingent on an early start to the project.

When the Australian Government was first considering funding the project, Ms MacTiernan told me at a Transport Minister’s meeting that it would not be acceptable “for us to offer the funding contingent on construction commencing this year as WA wouldn't fund it until the end of the decade.”

It is little wonder that Ms MacTiernan is having funding problems with the massive cost blowouts on her beleaguered Mandurah rail project.

This is a Minister who has proven to be incompetent at managing major projects and if Premier Carpenter does not sack her, the Bunbury road project will go the same way as the Mandurah rail project.

Media contact:
Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902

Commonwealth of Australia