Member for Moore Shane Love has called on Transport Minister Rita Saffioti to make clear any plans to close the northern section of Indian Ocean Drive while roadworks are completed.
“Main Roads are considering the closure of the northern end of Indian Ocean Drive between Leeman and the Brand Highway while upgrade works worth $55 million are undertaken,” Mr Love said.
In answer to Mr Love’s Parliamentary Questions, the Minister would not confirm or deny whether Indian Ocean Drive would be closed, saying only ‘the exact timing of construction and any potential closures are yet to be determined’.
“As I understand, works were scheduled in 2023/24 with Main Roads considering diverting traffic off Indian Ocean Drive via Coolimba – Eneabba Road to the Brand Highway,” Mr Love said
“The Coolimba – Eneabba Road detour would add 31 kilometres to the trip.
“This will be disastrous for businesses in Leeman and other towns on the route who rely on passing traffic – I call on the Transport minister to rule out closing Indian Ocean Drive.
“Local businesses have struggled through COVID lockdowns and worked incredibly hard to cover for staff shortages – a road closure is the last thing they need.”
Although not certain of the length of time of the possible road closure, Mr Love said he believed it could be a significant period of some months.
“The lack of information from Main Roads and the Minister’s office is disturbing given the size of the project,” Mr Love added.
“Why has there been no consultation with the local communities?
“If the Minister insists that the northern section of Indian Ocean Drive is to close, then affected businesses should be compensated for their losses.
“These business owners need to be able to budget for cash flow and communicate with their banks.”