Link threatens flow-on effect
IT is claimed investigations into the $1.6 billion, 16km Perth Freight Link (PFL) toll road could reactivate the dormant Stephenson Highway from Churchlands through Cottesloe to Cockburn.
“A tunnel under Clontarf Hill in Hamilton Hill was the most expensive and difficult part of that ditched coastal highway, and if it goes ahead the (State) Government could get that section by default, allowing the highway idea to pop up again,” Fremantle Councillor Andrew Sullivan said.
At a Fremantle PFL public briefing last Tuesday, Cr Sullivan said western suburbs residents should not think the PFL was just a Fremantle problem because the route would increase traffic and trucks heading into North Fremantle and north to Cottesloe.
Parts of the 1950s Stephenson Highway plan that exist include Servetus Street cutting through Swanbourne, Cottesloe’s Curtin Avenue, Wembley Golf Course and Churchlands road reserves.
Cr Sullivan said the State Government’s tunnel investigation could follow a route under land from Clontarf Hill to the six lanes planned for the PFL at the Stirling Highway extension.
Last year, the Federal Government contributed $925 million to the PFL, halting decades of planning for a truck link to a new Kwinana port, and galvanising community and council opposition to the new project.
“Groups as diverse as the Maritime Union of Australia and Cottesloe ratepayers have signed up against this,” Rethink the Link co-convenor Sam Wainwright said.
Last month, Transport Minister Dean Nalder announced a threemonth investigation into part of the PFL, including a tunnel, north of Clontarf Hill, known as Roe 9.
Regarding Cr Sullivan’s propositions, Mr Nalder’s spokeswoman said Roe 9’s route was not set.
At the Fremantle briefing, Curtin University professor Peter Newman said a tunnel could cost $250 million/km and the governments were wasting $2 billion to get the PFL to North Fremantle when the money could be used to for a Kwinana port.
Cottesloe Council will consider a second motion opposing the PFL on July 27.
Cottesloe ratepayers led by Yvonne Hart (front) want the Perth Freight Link reconsidered.