Trans­port plan about pri­or­i­ties

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

THE State Gov­ern­ment’s Perth Trans­port Plan for 2050 in­cludes a freight tun­nel un­der the Swan River and bridges across the river, but no Curtin Av­enue up­grade.

“There’s not a Curtin up­grade, but what we’ve got there is the Stock Road tun­nel con­nec­tion to be able to take the freight away from that coastal area,” Trans­port Min­is­ter Dean Nalder told the Western Sub­urbs Weekly af­ter launch­ing his plan on Fri­day.

Mr Nalder said he had not looked at where a tun­nel could ap­pear in the western sub­urbs, but his plan­ners be­lieved there was spare land for it and a fu­ture gov­ern­ment would have to de­cide on its de­tails.

Gov­ern­ment maps showed a di­rect north route from Stock Road, At­tadale, in­di­cat­ing a tun­nel could ap­pear near Mount Clare­mont be­fore head­ing fur­ther north.

The plan for road, rail and cy­cling routes de­vel­oped over the past two years is open for com­ment un­til Oc­to­ber, be­fore the Gov­ern­ment an­nounces its pri­or­ity project as it heads to a state elec­tion next March.

A cy­cling bridge from Dalkeith to Point Wal­ter and across Black­wall Reach to Mos­man Park was rec­om­mended by the plan­ners to in­crease trans­port con­nec­tions and cy­cle paths to 850km.

In the May Bud­get, the Gov­ern­ment took $40 mil­lion al­lot­ted to im­prove the south end of Curtin Av­enue to pay for a rapid bus ser­vice for El­len­brook.

Mr Nalder said he thought there were still “op­por­tu­ni­ties” to im­prove the av­enue, which car­ries Fre­man­tle Port trucks to north­ern sub­urbs, but trans­port is­sues in other parts of Perth should be pri­ori­tised.

“And what we’ve got to do is sit back, un­der­stand where those pres­sures are, what projects should have pri­or­ity and how they con­nect into that long-term plan so we’re do­ing things that ben­e­fit the long term,” Mr Nalder said.

The plan re­in­forced Mr Nalder’s sup­port for truck toll roads, such as the con­tro­ver­sial $1.9 Perth Freight Link, to help pay for fu­ture large trans­port projects.

Mr Nalder said it was es­ti­mated PFL trucks would get a $1.09/km sav­ing in ef­fi­cien­cies, fuel and time, and if 50c/km was tolled, about $8 bil­lion would re­turn in ben­e­fits to the trans­port sec­tor and a net $3.5 bil­lion to gov­ern­ment for other projects.

Re­think the Link (RtL) con­venor Kate Kelly said a lack of de­tail in the plan about the PFL was “noted”, but RtL did welcome in­clu­sion of the Lat­i­tude 42 con­tainer trans­fer rail yard near Kwinana, but only if there was a com­mit­ment to a nearby outer port, which could also help re­duce Curtin Av­enue truck con­ges­tion

“We are con­cerned the Gov­ern­ment seems in­ca­pable of ful­fill­ing any trans­port prom­ise, when the only thing they have com­mit­ted to in this plan is a Mor­ley rail line,” Ms Kelly said.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Mark Mc­Gowan, spruik­ing his re­vamped Metronet trans­port plan, said vot­ers should be scep­ti­cal about the Gov­ern­ment’s plan be­cause it had can­celled the El­len­brook Rail Line and Max Light Rail in the past.

“There are no cost­ings, no firm com­mit­ments, just as­pi­ra­tions,” Mr Mc­Gowan said.

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