Interchange block tagged Chicken Little

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury City Council rejects Main Roads’ proposed Bunbury Outer Ring Road design.
Camera IconBunbury City Council rejects Main Roads’ proposed Bunbury Outer Ring Road design. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

A Bunbury city councillor has likened the council’s rejection of the proposed Bunbury Outer Ring Road northern interchange to the Chicken Little fable.

Cr James Hayward this week put forward a motion for the council to reject Main Roads WA’s Forrest Highway interchange after mounting concerns over the “convoluted” design.

But Cr Brendan Kelly described the move as jumping to conclusions and said the council was in “no position” to influence the design.

“Chicken Little by the way was spooked by a leaf falling on her tail, she ran about saying, ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling’, and she spread panic in the yard,” Cr Kelly told the council.

“The sky is not falling and the world’s not coming to an end, Bunbury Outer Ring Road will be built, Bunbury will continue to build on its attractions to become a destination and life will go on.”

Cr Hayward’s motion asked the council to confirm its support for the project, but reject the proposed interchange, instruct chief executive Mal Osborne to ask Main Roads to redesign the concept with the route to Bunbury the primary one with dual lane access and make plans for a round table discussion with surrounding shires.

Cr Hayward said the proposed design was unacceptable and a clear message needed to be sent to Main Roads.

“We’re supposed to be the second city of WA, we have a lot of growing to do and we’re an important place ... I think it’s important we draw a line in the sand and tell Main Roads that enough is enough, this needs to be sorted out and we need a proper outcome for the city of Bunbury,” Cr Hayward said.

“We need to be clear that this is Main Roads’ preferred option — they have made that clear to us, it’s not a case of us thinking about the sky falling in.

“We need to lobby on behalf of our people and I think that there’s no question we need to promote ourselves as a destination, but that’s a different story.

“We certainly don’t want to make it any more difficult to get here.”

The council voted in favour of Cr Hayward’s motion with just Cr Kelly and Cr Karen Steele voting against rejecting the design.

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