Link threat­ens flow-on ef­fect

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

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.

Pic­ture: Jon Bas­sett

Cottes­loe ratepay­ers led by Yvonne Hart (front) want the Perth Freight Link re­con­sid­ered.

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