Truck traf­fic tipped to in­crease

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

COTTES­LOE and North Fre­man­tle res­i­dents face at least 15 years of ris­ing con­tainer truck traf­fic as a re­sult of leg­is­la­tion to sell the in­ner Fre­man­tle Port and rules for any new outer Kwinana port.

“Anal­y­sis of ca­pac­ity and trade growth has con­firmed the outer har­bour, which would be ad­di­tional to the in­ner har­bour oper­a­tions, will not be re­quired for at least 15 years and prob­a­bly much longer,” WA Trea­sur- er Mike Na­han said in Par­lia­ment.

The Port’s es­ti­mated $2 bil­lion sale is part of a $16 bil­lion Govern­ment as­set sell-off be­fore state debt reaches an es­ti­mated $40 bil­lion in 2018-19.

In April, Dr Na­han said the in­ner har­bour’s use should be max­imised to get the most out of it be­fore the outer har­bour was built, but if his pol­icy is fol­lowed 740,000 an­nual con­tainer move­ments at the in­ner port now could rise to two mil­lion by 2030.

About 85 per cent of all con­tain­ers are moved by trucks us­ing ei­ther Ty­de­man Road, North Fre­man­tle or Curtin Av­enue, Cottes­loe, while the re­main­der go on sev­eral daily freight trains that are limited to shar­ing the Fre­man­tle Railway Bridge with com­muter trains.

Last week, Dr Na­han said al­low­ing the in­ner port to reach its “nat­u­ral ca­pac­ity” with a pri­vate op­er­a­tor meant lower port prices and un­de­scribed “ben­e­fits” to the com­mu­nity.

“But we ex­pe­ri­ence daily dif­fi­cul­ties with the truck traf­fic now, and if it triples daily amenity will plunge,” North Fre­man­tle Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Ger­ard MacGill said.

Mr MacGill said al­low­ing the in­ner har­bour lessee to de­cide the outer har­bour’s con­struc­tion showed it was now “trans­par­ent” that the Govern­ment wanted the buyer to not lose con­tainer traf­fic to an­other site dur­ing the agree­ment.

He said res­i­dents were al­ready “ner­vous” about more trucks ef­fects on home val­ues and any new roads for heav­ier port traf­fic.

They felt “squeezed” be­tween the Perth Freight Link (PFL) from the south ser­vic­ing a pri­va­tised in­ner port and the pro­posed re­align­ment of Curtin Av­enue from Cottes­loe in the north.

Cottes­loe MLA Colin Bar­nett, a for­mer North Fre­man­tle res­i­dent, said the PFL was not go­ing to have “much im­pact” on the sub­urb apart from some “mod­est cor­rec­tion” to its roads.

“There’s been lots of re­build­ing in North Fre­man­tle and it’s got all the char­ac­ter­is­tics of an in­ner-city sub­urb, so there’s al­ways pres­sures on it, but I think it’s an idyl­lic spot,” he said.

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