Roadside devastation sparks petition to Parliament

LOCAL residents dismayed by recent large-scale earthworks to re-align Toodyay Road will petition State Parliament to halt further destruction of roadside vegetation on the main tourism route to the historic town.

Land resumptions and the destruction of picturesque views near Jingaling Brook have left big areas of bare embankment on either side of the re-aligned road.

The Safe and Scenic Toodyay Roads group has called on Main Roads WA to halt further construction to review the project.

It says unwarranted large-scale clearing spoils the attraction of Toodyay Road as a scenic drive to the historic town and leaves steep slopes on which nothing will grow.

Lower-cost alternatives such as hard shoulders in the City of Swan section of Toodyay Road near Gidgegannup could be used instead.

A shortage of materials and labour and backlog of road-building projects under the State Government’s economic stimulus plans made it a perfect time to reconsider planned improvements.

A petition calling for a review is underway in Toodyay.

Main Roads WA spokesperson Dean Roberts said the Toodyay Road upgrade project remained a priority “to improve safety along this important route”.

“Main Roads has been consulting with the community and has made some refinements to the design to reduce the environmental clearing footprint,” he said

A Community Reference Group was established in 2017 to discuss designs with local community representatives.”

He said repairs to sections of Toodyay Road were ongoing, with permanent repairs to be undertaken next month.

Main Roads WA offered no comment on the petition.