Promises for Bunbury delivered in Budget

Headshot of Michael Philipps
Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

Bunbury MLA Don Punch says Thursday’s State Budget announcement shows he is meeting the commitments he gave on his plan for Bunbury and will set the region up for future growth.

WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt announced the State Budget on Thursday with significant funding allocated for projects in the South West.

The State Government will invest $93.8 million over the forward estimates period – including $75 million of Commonwealth funds – to commence the northern and southern sections of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.

Mr Punch said the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project would set the foundation for the future growth of Greater Bunbury.

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“It allows the expansion of Wanju, it is allowing for the expansion of industrial land at Waterloo, it is providing guaranteed access by road to Bunbury Port so we don’t get the congestion problems we get elsewhere,” he said.

“The question came up whether the outer ring road will take people away from the economic opportunity of the CBD – absolutely not.

“The thing that will kill prosperity to the CBD is if you are in a traffic jam to get to it.”

Mr Punch said he expected business confidence in Bunbury to improve with the announcement of the Budget.

“Jobs growth is forecast at 50,000 Statewide over the next two years,” he said.

“With that the treasury is forecasting improvements in consumer confidence.

“If we see jobs growth and improved consumer confidence, then that will be a real shot in the arm for the people of Bunbury.”

South West MLC Steve Thomas said while it was pleasing to see State funding in the region, he was disappointed with the increase in household expenditure.

“You have got a significant increase in household fees and charges again,” he said.

“The Federal Government is talking about giving $530 back to working households and the State Government is going to put its hands in the back pocket of the workers to get $292 back.

“The two big negatives are the lack of a strategy to remove debt and the fact that householders are effectively subsidising that debt with increased fees and charges.”

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