Prominent developer Nigel Satterley and Canning MP Andrew Hastie have weighed in on calls by Austin Cove Baptist College for better access to their senior school campus in South Yunderup.
The school’s principal, Orlando dos Santos had urged the state government to provide access to Beacham Road from Forrest Highway to reduce traffic on South Yunderup Road where a student had been killed in an accident in 2011.
But WA’s Department of Main Roads rejected the school’s plea due to safety concerns, as reopening Beacham Road onto Forrest Highway would “unnecessarily encourage motorists to use an intersection on a high speed rural highway, resulting in a significant risk of serious traffic crashes”.
Nigel Satterley, chief executive of the biggest property development company in the area, said the road infrastructure was vital to the local economy.
“Without road access to Forrest Highway it provides a disconnect to masterplanned communities such as Austin Lakes and employment areas,” he said.
“Mandurah has one of the highest unemployment rates so we need to be doing whatever we can to create access from where people live to major employment hubs.
“Without adequate road infrastructure connecting people to employment areas, the local economy will continue to take a hit.”
Mr Satterley said the Peel region would suffer without access to the affordable housing in South Yunderup and called on the government to do “everything possible to stimulate growth and employment in this region”.
“This road connection is critical to support bus services to transport children from communities like Waroona, to and from schools such as the Austin Cove Baptist College,” he said.
Mr Hastie supported the school’s call for improved road access.
“The steady growth of Austin Cove Baptist College is causing increased congestion through Austin Lakes,” he said.
“An additional point of entry for school drop-offs would reduce this pressure and in turn make the suburb safer for children and residents.
“It would also significantly reduce the commute time for students travelling from places like Waroona by cutting up to 30 minutes off their travel time every day.”
Mr Hastie called on the state government to “sit down with the stakeholders and have a real discussion about a project that would greatly benefit the local community”.