Mayor wel­comes in­quiry into road de­ci­sion

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

COCK­BURN Mayor Lo­gan Howlett has wel­comed news the Se­nate will in­ves­ti­gate the fi­nanc­ing and de­ci­sion-mak­ing be­hind the con­tro­ver­sial Perth Freight Link (PFL) in Septem­ber or Oc­to­ber.

Mr Howlett was hope­ful in­for­ma­tion that group op­posed to the $1.6 bil­lion pro­ject have been look­ing to scru­ti­nise for months would be made public.

“Trans­parency is of the high­est pri­or­ity, par­tic­u­larly when you’re spend­ing bil­lions of dol­lars of taxpayers’ money on a pro­ject which the com­mu­nity are gen­er­ally say­ing they don’t want and there’s bet­ter op­tions avail­able,” he said.

Mean­while, a tun­nel from Hamil­ton Hill through to Fre­man­tle as part of the Roe 9 stage of the Perth Freight Link is look­ing in­creas­ingly likely, though it could be de­layed af­ter Trans­port Min­is­ter Dean Nalder said ex­act tim­ing for the build was not locked in.

Mr Nalder told a busi­ness break­fast last week that be­ing able to de­liver a twin-bored tun­nel rail­way line out to For­rest­field as part of the $2 bil­lion air­port link at a price in line with do­ing it above ground meant he “felt a lot more com­fort­able to ex­plore this as a po­ten­tial so­lu­tion for get­ting us to the port”.

The other op­tion is to con­tinue the link down Stock Road and Leach High­way/High Street.

Mr Nalder said part two was yet to be fi­nalised, but he did apol­o­gise to Palmyra res­i­dents for the un­cer­tainty cre­ated while he ex­plored al­ter­na­tive routes.

A Palmyra res­i­dent said her fam­ily was work­ing around the clock to fin­ish ren­o­va­tions so they could be com­pen­sated ap­pro­pri- ately if the State Gov­ern­ment re­sumed her home.

“We’ve just been spend­ing money to try to get it fin­ished, po­ten­tially so they can knock it over,” she said.

Fre­man­tle MLA Si­mone McGurk ar­gued the un­cer­tainty was wide­spread and the pro­ject should be scrapped.

A City of Melville re­port by tech­ni­cal ser­vices di­rec­tor John Christie in July said 72 com­mer­cial and residentia­l prop­er­ties would be af­fected if the Stock Road/Leach High­way op­tion went ahead “from full ac­qui­si­tion, to mi­nor land take, to changes in ac­cess”.

Of the 46 residentia­l prop­er­ties, 20 are in Palmyra, 21 in Wil­lagee and five are in Hamil­ton Hill and Fre­man­tle.

“The City is firmly of the view that Op­tion 2 with a tun­nel un­der the Fre­man­tle Eastern By­pass align­ment is the best out­come for the com­mu­nity, the long-term op­er­a­tion of the Perth Freight Link and Fre­man­tle Port,” Mr Christie said.

The Hamil­ton Hill Com­mu­nity Group is pro­duc­ing a short film about why they be­lieve the link will be detri­men­tal to them be­fore a planned meet­ing with Mr Nalder next month.

Fre­man­tle MLA Si­mone McGurk (cen­tre) with Re­think Perth Freight Link pro­tes­tors out­side the Melville Cock­burn Cham­ber of Com­merce break­fast, where Mr Nalder was speak­ing last Wed­nes­day.

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