South Western Highway - Pemberton turnoff to Walpole


​We are currently investigating options to widen a 93 km section of South Western Highway between the Pemberton turnoff and Walpole.

The two lane road has a 6m seal width, narrow gravel shoulders and steep batters, and covers a variety of terrain and significant rivers.  There is a requirement to improve road safety and reduce run-off road crashes on this section of highway. 


Latest news

We are progressing planning in response to concerns raised by the community for the section of the highway south of Pemberton from Vasse Highway to Middleton Road.

Consequently, we have expanded the current Community Reference Group and invited representation from:

  • St John Ambulance Manjimup
  • Manjimup Police
  • Northcliffe Environment Group
  • Warren Environment Group
  • Bannister Downs Dairy
  • Pemberton and Northcliffe Visitor Centre
  • Pemberton Chamber of Commerce Industry
  • South West Coach Lines
  • Quinninup Community Association
  • Shire of Manjimup Northcliffe Ward Councillor

Land is required from National Parks and possibly from some private properties, although this is expected to be minimal. The works are likely to reflect the existing highway alignment with no significant realignment or reconstruction proposed. However, these widening works are at least two years away due to time required to complete land dealings. The initial focus will be on the section north of Middleton Road to reflect business, tourism, safety impacts and traffic volumes with a preliminary design for the 10 km section north of Middleton Road currently being developed.

Completed works

Weather factors limit the potential construction period of all future sections. The following works have been completed:

March 2017: Completed work on approximately 1.5 km north of Centre Road and extending to 2 km north of Mandalay Beach Road through several of the Karri sections.

March 2016: Completed work on the 8.5 km section of South Western Highway from Ordnance Road to 1.5 km north of Centre Road.

Read more detailed information in our January 2017 newsletter.

We have had positive feedback from the community regarding the first stage of works. Our Community Reference Group members said they believed the natural appearance of the highway had been maintained, and that most people in the community were very happy with the safer road outcome.

The April 2015 newsletter explains the project rationale and background.  We continue to welcome feedback from the community along the highway, as well as highway users.


Image: South Western Highway - Pemberton to Walpole BEFORE.JPG


Image: South Western Highway - Pemberton to Walpole AFTER.JPG



Community engagement

To ensure the community has input into the process, we held a workshop with key community representatives in Walpole on Thursday 22 August 2013. The group included representatives of representatives from:

  •  Walpole & Inlet Systems Advisory Committee
  •  Walpole Nornalup National Parks Association
  •  South Coast Environment Group
  •  Northcliffe Environment Group
  •  Warren Environment Group
  •  Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPAW) Manjimup and Walpole
  •  Walpole Police
  •  Shire of Manjimup
  •  Walpole Transport
  •  St John Ambulance
  •  Community representative
  •  School bus operator
  •  Villa Carlotta (Tourist Bus Company).

Six further meetings have been held on:

  • 25 November 2013;
  • 26 March 2014;
  • 5 May 2015;
  • 13 October 2015;
  • 15 June 2016; and
  • 22 November 2016.

Most have involved site visits along the highway.

As outlined in Latest news, this group is no being expanded to include key representatives from the northern section.

While this group is not a decision making body, representatives are involved in discussing possible treatments with us. This includes  raising any concerns or issues with their relevant groups/ associates to provide feedback at each workshop.

The purpose of the current community group workshops is to discuss the impacts and agree on the final scope of widening works with the aim of minimising environmental impacts, and meeting the community’s request that the road be improved.

The workshops will allow the local community to identify, discuss and provide advice on issues associated with the project. The group will also provide representative community and stakeholder input into development of solutions.  Working with all relevant community representatives and stakeholders will ensure an outcome that is generally acceptable within the community.  


Project scope

We plan to increase the seal width to ten metres, including the construction of fully sealed new shoulders. Where possible we will improve safety of road verges by flattening batter slopes and protecting or removing roadside hazards (predominantly large trees).

There is no set timeframe for widening works at this stage, and this will depend on the allocation of funds in future State budgets.  

It is expected that the works would likely be undertaken over a number of years. The current order of delivery is indicated on the delivery strategy map.

The extent of work is not yet determined and will be influenced by workshops with the community representatives.  Further meetings are planned this year. Our aim is to work together to develop a solution that is fundamentally acceptable to all.


Further information

We welcome queries from the community about this project.

General project enquiries

Carolyn Walker, Main Roads’ Community Relations Representative

Phone: 9450 1445


Contracting or supplier enquiries

Tel: 138 138




Modified: 27 Apr 2017