Published: 03 November 2023

Legislative Council, Thursday 3 November 2023

Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I will make a very brief contribution on adjournment tonight.

I sent in good faith questions to the Government earlier this week regarding traffic management at the Cam River Bridge. I will read the question.

With regards to the works being undertaken at Somerset to replace the Cam River Bridge, noting that the additional traffic congestion and long delays in accessing the bridge at peak times in the morning and afternoon, getting across the bridge, since the Murchison Highway was closed and school has returned -

1. Is there any requirement to provide traffic management services to assist traffic flows during peak periods?

(a) if so, who is responsible for this?

(b) if not, will the minister consider imposing a requirement for traffic management during peak traffic periods?

Mr President, it is not a flippant question. It is a living problem for people in the Somerset area. It is not as bad when the bridge was down to one lane. It still is two lanes, but with the Murchison Highway closed and the funnelling of traffic down through Falmouth Street again, is what during the partial closure of the bridge. What is needed is traffic management on Falmouth Street at the lights to Bass Highway with Falmouth Street and further up the intersection with Simpson and Falmouth Streets off Falmouth Street.

I ask in good faith because there are people there who cannot get to a doctor appointment in a timely manner. They cannot get to the hospital in a timely manner. I understand school buses have been prioritised, which is great. It is a simple matter of putting traffic control personnel in place to allow the traffic to flow. It is only for an hour or two a day in the morning and the same in the afternoon, probably a little bit less in the afternoon, it is not quite as congested then.

I would have appreciated some response from the minister on this matter. I am disappointed we have not got it. I have had a number of representations from my community related to this. Obviously, if I have to wait another week, another week for the answer, I do not know how long the closure of the Murchison Highway is going to be, it will be a while because there is still significant works to be undertaken to complete the bridge. We know it is not until about April next year.

It became apparent, after school went back for the holidays, they closed the Murchison Highway just before the holidays, that was the sensible thing to do, but since school holidays have finished, there has been some traffic management on the bridge itself, but that is because you have already got to the bridge. It is getting out of those side streets.

I hope the Leader will take this back and ask the minister, Mr Ferguson, to look at this and respond. It is not a big ask, it just makes it so much easier for people to have a free flowing, but slow. People accept slow, they just do not like it when they cannot get out of their driveway for 45 minutes.

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