Albany Liberal candidate Scott Leary has hailed his party’s new leadership duo as a “breath of fresh air” as he renews his push for a roundabout at a troublesome intersection.
The Albany City Motors director said it was exciting to have 33-year-old Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup and Vasse MP Libby Mettam at the helm almost 100 days out from the State election.
“How lucky are we?” he said.
“The team now with Zak Kirkup and Libby Mettam is just a great breath of fresh air. Both are wonderful people, both focused, and there is a great team behind them.
“I think Zak has had a bit of criticism for his age but he has been around the political system for a long time.
“He is well-versed and more than capable.”
Mr Kirkup, who has replaced Liza Harvey as leader, yesterday announced the party had switched into election mode 103 days ahead of the March 13 polling day.
WA’s major parties typically start their election campaigns after Australia Day.
In Albany on Friday, Mr Leary ramped up his call for a roundabout at the intersection of Sanford and North roads.
Mr Leary said if elected he would push to see the construction of a roundabout fast-tracked.
“To try and traverse this at any time of day, let alone pick-up times, is difficult,” he said.
“There are 6000 car movements a day on this road.
“It is just a safety issue for the constituents down here. With the funding that is available from the Federal Government, we should be able to bring that forward.”
O’Connor MP Rick Wilson said the City had received funding under the Federal Government’s community roads and infrastructure program, which he hoped would be used to fund the roundabout.
“This is untied funding which the City of Albany can spend however they choose,” he said.
City infrastructure, development and environment executive director Paul Camins said the City had not yet allocated the Federal funding and it depended on their ability to deliver the project within the allowed time frames.
“An intersection treatment has been identified in the Yakamia Structure Plan at the intersection of North Road and Sanford Road and is incorporated in our long-term financial plan,” he said.
“This treatment would likely be a roundabout and facilitate access to the proposed Range Road expansion of the road network, but would also allow more free-flowing traffic movements at the existing intersection.”
Mr Camins said the intersection treatment was planned for construction in about five years.
Mr Leary said the Liberal Party was finalising its funding priorities for the State election.
“Accommodation is one of the biggest issues down here,” he said.
“We just don’t have that housing available, and if these infrastructure projects are going to continue and we are going to get them to ground, we need housing.
“Jobs are going to be critical for the area.”
Mr Leary said establishing a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility would also be put forward as a priority.
Mr Leary is set to contest the seat of Albany against Labor’s Rebecca Stephens, The Greens WA’s Nelson Blake Gilmour and One Nation’s Michelle Kinsella.