I NOTE concerns raised in the last Toodyay Herald in regard to the clearing of trees to facilitate the Main Roads WA Toodyay road works project.
It is important to understand with projects of this nature that everything is built to a new Australian Safety Standard and clearing away from the road surface is part of those new safety standards.
Existing roads in our shire should be to a clearance standard of 5m wide and 4m in height.Read more
However, this is often not the case in Toodyay because many local roads are encroached upon by overhanging limbs that force trucks, buses and tractors to the centre, presenting a clear traffic hazard.
We have alerted the shire numerous times about this significant safety issue.
The State Government has committed $120 million to upgrading Toodyay Road – something not seen locally for quite some time.
Consultation with the local community about environmental impacts, occurred in 2017.
A plan was put in place to provide a 196ha (3.5 times the area to be cleared) offset of Wandoo woodland adjacent to Clackline Nature Reserve, 88 artificial black cockatoo nesting hollows, the planting of 52ha of vegetation along Toodyay Road, sourcing 13,800 seedlings (55 species), the relocation of 90 grass trees and 20 Macrozamia palms – the list goes on.
While this may not replace mature trees, the road upgrade will hopefully prevent the deaths of family members and friends who can’t be replaced.
I believe this upgrade is predominantly about road safety, and safety alone for our citizens.
As an added bonus, the trip to Perth will also take less time, as travellers using the Great Northern Highway upgrade have discovered.
Toodyay Road was built decades ago.
Toodyay’s population has doubled in the 40 years I have lived here but our section of Toodyay Road has never had any overtaking lanes – it needs them.
Many local people now commute to Perth for work, and our town has become a popular tourist destination.
Progress is needed to cater for these changes.
We can’t let this upgrade funding be lost or stopped as happened with approved State Government funding for a Toodyay heavy-haulage bypass 20-odd years ago.
The lack of a proper town bypass means heavy trucks still have to use Stirling Terrace today.
If you support the current roadworks to upgrade Toodyay Road, I urge you to let your local shire, Main Roads WA and local MPs know.