The West

Deadly highway overdue for upgrade
Deadly highway overdue for upgrade

Brad Hansen has lost close friends on Coalfields Highway and with a background in health and safety the Collie resident believes more can be done to make the road safer.

He supports a pledge by WA Opposition Leader Mark McGowan to use money from the Royalties for Regions fund to fix up dangerous roads in the country.

Mr McGowan made the pledge in announcing his party’s position, to keep the brainchild of Nationals’ leader Brendon Grylls but ‘‘spend the money more wisely.’’

Mr Hansen said the interaction between heavy haulage trucks and cars travelling to and from work was concerning on the narrow, winding road.

He welcomed money already spent on the road by the current government but said more needed to be done.

‘‘It’s very windy, there are a lot of areas in the road which need to be kept up to better standards,’’ he said.

‘‘Here you seem to have a lot of potholes which are just covered over and as soon as the wet comes back they start to sink again.’’

Mr McGowan announced Royalties for Regions funding would be spent on upgrading dangerous regional roads as well as regional housing shortages, health services, education and tourism funding.

‘‘Some of the priorities are dangerous country roads, the National Party has said dangerous country roads should not be funded by Royalties for Regions, respectfully Mr Grylls, I disagree,’’ he said.

He shrugged off the Nationals’ claim Royalties for Regions funding would be reduced under Labor.

‘‘People should not be fooled by a scare campaign by Mr Grylls, what they need to understand is we’ll keep this program, but spend it more wisely and more sensibly,’’ he said.

He said money would also be spent on attracting public servants, including police officers, to regional areas. But Transport Minister Troy Buswell said there was already a significant investment in country roads by the State Government.

‘‘This year we will spend $832 million on roads in regional WA,’’ he said.

‘‘Some of that money is already coming from Royalties for Regions and when you look historically at when Labor is in power, regional roads go backwards big time.’’

Mr Grylls said a number of Labor’ssuggestions had already been implemented by the Government.

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