Hectares of Dwellingup Forest face axe for road construction

State forest: Fifty one hectares within Dwellingup’s State Forest are facing the axe as part of a Pinjarra-Williams Road upgrade by Main Roads WA. Photo: Google Maps.
State forest: Fifty one hectares within Dwellingup’s State Forest are facing the axe as part of a Pinjarra-Williams Road upgrade by Main Roads WA. Photo: Google Maps.

Fifty one hectares within Dwellingup’s State Forest are facing the axe as part of a project by Main Roads WA to upgrade Murray’s Pinjarra-Williams Road.

The project aims to transform part of the state forest into crown land to be used to widen the road, increase seal width and create passing lanes between the Dwellingup and Boddington areas.

According to Main Roads, the project aims to address road safety concerns, since the road has a higher injury rate from road crashes than other South West roads.

 And it hopes to accommodate heavy vehicles working at the Boddington Gold Mine. 

“Pinjarra-Williams road forms part of an important route which links Forrest Highway and South Western Highway with Albany Highway,” Main Roads project manager Colin Nicholls wrote in a letter to the Shire of Murray asking for support.

“The Pinjarra-Williams road is the major road connection for much of the mining activity and is the sole route for transporting produce from the Boddington Gold Mine to Bunbury Port.

“The road is very important to the commercial success of mining activities in this area.”

In addition to the widening of the road, several sections of the road which are currently not sitting in the road alignment and are covered by vegetation would also be closed as part of the project. 

Shire of Murray councillors expressed their support at a council meeting on February 23, and committed to the future dedication of land.

Main Roads WA said they were currently in talks with the Department of Parks and Wildlife for the revocation of the state forest title for the Dwellingup State Forest.

The revocation will need the approval from parliament, however Main Roads said funding was already available for this financial year.

“Further funding is currently being sought for 2017/2018,” a Main Roads spokeswoman said.

“Funds to continue this work further will be sought in future years.”

The upgrade works are anticipated to occur over the next five years.