Ring Road submission stalls, details outstanding

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
The Chester Pass Roundabout is highly used by trucks.
Camera IconThe Chester Pass Roundabout is highly used by trucks.

Main Roads will have to resubmit its Albany Ring Road submission after its business case was rejected last month.

Owing to the report being incomplete, the rejection — revealed to a Federal Government committee on February 18 — meant Infrastructure Australia had not begun reviewing the proposal.

Speaking to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee, IA acting chief executive Anna Chau said requesting more information was not unusual for business cases.

However, Ms Chau’s expected time line for the re-submission — “within a week or so,” she said — had since elapsed by about three weeks.

“We found that the business case still had some information outstanding,” she said. “That was on the fourth (of February).

“We are waiting for the additional information before we reconsider whether to accept it.”

An Infrastructure Australia spokeswoman confirmed the business case had not been resubmitted by March 13.

Stage one of the ARR, linking Chester Pass Road and Albany Highway, was completed in 2007 but progress on the remaining two stages has stalled.

Stages two and three, which the State Government committed $35 million to as part of its 2017 election campaign, would upgrade a route from Link Road through to Princess Royal Drive.

However, the final two stages have failed to make it into the Federal Government’s priority projects list for two years.

Main Roads spokesman Dean Roberts downplayed the delay.

“It is normal practice for IA to request extra information or updates as part of its assessment process,” he said.

Despite scrutiny on the business case submission, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti’s office said it was not a requirement to receive Federal funding.

It cited three WA projects which had received Federal funding this year, which did not have completed business cases.

A spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said Mr McCormack was awaiting the outcome of IA’s business case evaluation.

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