Ring Road terms splits Labor, Liberals

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the Albany Ring Road will likely be delayed as a result of the 2019-2020 Federal Budget.
Camera IconWA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the Albany Ring Road will likely be delayed as a result of the 2019-2020 Federal Budget. Credit: The Sunday Times

“Shocked and disappointed” is how WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti described her reaction to this week’s Federal Budget.

The comments came after Ms Saffioti said she learned the State would not receive any of the $140 million promised for the Albany Ring Road in the first year of the Coalition’s four-year outlook.

According to Budget papers, the State will only receive $17.5 million in the 2019-20 financial year for infrastructure.

It is forecast to then receive $60 million in 2020-21, $233.5 million in 2021-22 and $132 million in 2022-23.

Ms Saffioti said that funding allocation would mean money for the Albany Ring Road would not be received until the 2021-2022 financial year, potentially delaying the project, which she hoped would start next year.

“This is a project the State Government — and the Albany community — wants to have under way next year, but this Federal Budget clanger now has the potential to delay the project,” Ms Saffioti said.

“(O’Connor MP) Rick Wilson has been out there celebrating a goal when the video replay shows the ball was touched.

“It’s just a cruel trick on the people of Albany.” Ms Saffioti said the State Government would request that the Federal Government bring forward the funding.

However, Mr Wilson said Ms Saffioti’s assessment “took his breath away”.

He said he would support the State Government getting paid on time as per the Budget, “but they have to build something first”.

“The State Government are complaining that the money we’ve allocated is spread over (several) years,” he said.

“This project will take at least three years to build, even under the most efficient and well-organised management.

“I think it’s entirely reasonable that as the project is built, the State Government would submit a claim for payment for work completed to the Commonwealth Government.”

Speaking to ABC radio, Mr Wilson suggested the State Government could start construction using the $35 million it pledged in 2017, with the knowledge it would be receiving future Commonwealth funding.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails