Legislative Council Tuesday 8 November 2016
[2.31 p.m.] Ms FORREST question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Dr GOODWIN
The State Roads Audit 2016, available on the Department of State Growth website, indicates the road between Smithton and Marrawah to be a category 5 road. This road is in need of significant repair and upgrade to facilitate the passage of school buses and many other freight tasks including milk tankers, grain trucks, log trucks and other heavy freight tasks, as well as being on a significant tourism route that takes in the Tarkine Drive, Tarkine Forest Adventures - formerly known as Dismal Swamp - and a main access to the Arthur River.
Category 3 are identified as Regional Access Roads, which are the main access to the state's regions, carrying less heavy freight traffic than Regional Freight Roads. Category 4 are Feeder Roads, which are state roads that provide connections to between towns, major tourist destinations and industrial areas. Category 5, as this road is classified, is identified as 'Other Roads' and includes the remainder of state roads.
Will the Government actively consider a reassessment of this road categorisation to ensure it can be properly considered in the next state budget and future budgets to attract the necessary funding to upgrade the base and surface of the road? If not, why not?
Mr President, I thank the honourable member for Murchison for her question.
The road hierarchy is a method of road classification for management purposes but on its own does not determine investment priorities. The current numerical classification system is being reviewed with a view to implementing a more contemporary description classification that both describes the functionality of roads within each classification - for example, National Highway, rural arterial, urban collector, et cetera. Important investment decisions are made on the basis of the challenges and investment themes detailed in the 10-year Infrastructure Investment Plan released in March this year. This means the Bass Highway is no less likely to receive funding than other roads on the basis of a category 5 classification. An 8.32-kilometre section of the Bass Highway between Smithton and Marrawah is scheduled for resealing this construction season. The works are currently programmed to be undertaken in January 2017. Extensive preparation and patching work was completed in October.