Western Australia Minister for Transport Simon O’ Brien
Transport Minister Inspects Latest Works On Indian Ocean Drive
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia Minister for Transport Simon O’Brien has inspected works on the new Lancelin to Cervantes road, due for completion later this year.
The $112 Million second stage of the project, which commenced in 2008, involves the construction of 65km of new sealed coast road, starting just South of Lancelin and extending North to Pinnacles Drive, 10 km south of Cervantes.
Visiting the site today, Mr O’Brien said he was confident the road would be a hit with locals and tourists alike.
“When this road is completed it will be possible to travel from Perth to Geraldton entirely along a coastal route. This is bound to have significant economic benefits for local communities along the way.” Mr. O’Brien said.
Mr. O’Brien said the construction of the new road would also ease pressure on the Brand Highway, currently the most direct route to Geraldton and beyond.
“At present the Brand Highway is a heavily-used freight route. However, when Indian Ocean Drive is completed, day trippers, travellers and other passenger vehicles heading into the areas near Lancelin and Cervantes will have another route to choose.”
Heavy freight vehicles will be restricted from travelling on the Lancelin to Cervantes road.
The Minister said given the alignment was being mainly built through bushland environmental concerns were a priority for the construction team.
“What we have seen is a number of enhanced construction techniques aimed at reducing any damage to the natural environment.” Mr. O’ Brien said.
Mr. O’Brien said works were being directly managed by Main Roads.
“There is currently a workforce of 135, including 24 Main Roads employees and 111 hired plant operators and labourers. The project has a strong safety focus and involves ongoing employee and industry training.”
“The State Government is committed to delivering infrastructure projects to facilitate future economic growth and improve road safety.” Mr. O’Brien said.
The situation in New South Wales is slightly different to that of Western Australia. Western Australia as a State has to administer a very flat and expansive terrain.
New South Wales although by overseas standards a large area is challenged by the Great Dividing Range, Blue Mountains and Illawarra Escarpment.
These factors make road and railway construction relatively expensive.
This aside the Cobb Highway in Western New South Wales between Wilcannia and Ivanhoe is unsealed. In a recent accident the occupants of a car were killed along this stretch of unsealed road.
The alternative route is the Barrier Highway and as I have discovered car and truck users would not wish to run out of petrol along this long straight stretch of bitumen.
The New South Wales Government should seal the Cobb Highway.