State Government urged to end Geraldton bypass limbo

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Geoff VivianMidwest Times
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Chapman Valley Progress Association founder Tenille Webb on the Nanson-Howatharra Road at the point where a heavy haulage route would cross it if Main Roads proceeded with Geraldton Bypass Option 4.
Camera IconChapman Valley Progress Association founder Tenille Webb on the Nanson-Howatharra Road at the point where a heavy haulage route would cross it if Main Roads proceeded with Geraldton Bypass Option 4. Credit: Tenille Webb

About 1000 Chapman Valley farmers and residents are petitioning the State Government to progress its plans to create a Geraldton bypass road, and to confirm which route it would take.

Local action group founder Tenille Webb said Chapman Valley residents preferred a route joining North West Coastal Highway with Morrel Road, passing through the proposed Oakajee Industrial Estate.

However, she said local landowners were suffering.

“They have been sitting in limbo for so long because a line’s been drawn over their properties,” Miss Webb said.

“They can’t sell, they can’t subdivide, they can’t do anything.”

Nevertheless, she said the “Oakajee-Narngulu Infrastructure Corridor”, known as Option 6, was better than Options 4 and 5, which would join Morel Road with a road bypassing Northampton, taking a more easterly route.

Miss Webb said Option 6 had been thought to be more expensive.

However, she said it had been discovered a parallel Oakajee Rail link could be constructed later, making Route 6 the least expensive option.

She said Options 4 and 5 also passed through a greater number of farms and hobby farms, impacting on even more landowners.

“Options 4 and 5 go through a lot of nature reserves and a lot of waterways they’d never be able to build a road on anyway,” Miss Webb said.

“And we’ve got the Carnaby cockatoos that frequent those areas as well, so we’ve got a lot of flora and fauna.”

Chapman Valley Shire deputy chief executive Simon Lancaster said it was “hard to ascertain” the route of the Oakajee part of Option 6.

“Main Roads have heard that criticism and have said they would work to improve that,” he said.

Northampton Shire chief executive Garry Keeffe said his council was “sitting on the fence” to see what the costs of the various options would be.

“We don’t mind the inland option but it’s got to be based on the economics,” he said. “If it’s cheaper, you have got to go with that.”

Member for Geraldton Ian Blayney said he would present the petition to Parliament this week.

Main Roads WA was not available for comment.

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