PFL site works be­gin


Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS -

MORE than 50 demon­stra­tors gath­ered in Bi­bra Lake last week as Main Roads con­ducted wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing tests in prepa­ra­tion for the Roe 8 ex­ten­sion.

Roe 8, the first stage of the $1.65 bil­lion Perth Freight Link (PFL), will ex­tend Roe High­way from the Kwinana Free­way to Stock Road through the Beel­iar wet­lands.

Main Roads con­trac­tors be­gan drilling near the in­ter­sec­tion of Progress Drive and Hope Road on Tues­day morn­ing.

About 10 po­lice of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing mounted po­lice, cor­doned off the area where work was be­ing done.

Po­lice num­bers more than tripled as the day pro­gressed and more op­po­nents to the road ar­rived.

Main Roads project di­rec­tor Terry Pearce said Main Roads was there to in­stall bores as part of its ground­wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing pro­gram in prepa­ra­tion for Roe 8.

“We’re do­ing this work at the be­hest of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Author­ity, with their ap­proval and en­dorse­ment,” he said.

“It’s a con­di­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval (for Roe 8).”

Cockburn Mayor Lo­gan Howlett called on Main Roads to cease work im­me­di­ately.

“I’m aware of the ap­proval but we be­lieve that will be tested in the courts,” he said.

“There’s a court case pend­ing which we be­lieve will lead to the ceas­ing of this ac­tiv­ity and the con­struc­tion of Roe 8.”

Mr Pearce said he did not have the author­ity to cease work.

“We’re only work­ing in cleared area so there’s no clear­ing, there’s no im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment,” he said

“The in­for­ma­tion we get out of this will in­form the Depart­ment of Wa­ter’s (DoW) data­base so even if the project didn’t pro­ceed the DoW is a win­ner be­cause it’s got more in­for­ma­tion about the wa­ter in this area of the Beel­iar Wet­lands chain.”

Mr Howlett said the in­for­ma­tion should have been gath­ered be­fore en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval was granted.

Later in the week there were re­ports Main Roads had backed a tun­nel op­tion for the sec­ond stage of the PFL, link- ing Stock Road to Can­ning High­way.

Main Roads would not be drawn on the re­ports, but Fed­eral Fi­nance Min­is­ter Mathias Cor­mann told ABC 720’s Morn­ings pro­gram a de­ci­sion for Roe 9 needed to be made sooner rather than later.

“The timetable which was agreed was that the whole project would get un­der way in 2016,” he said.

“We are still hope­ful that we can meet that dead­line, but there are some fur­ther con­ver­sa­tions be­tween the Com­mon­wealth and the State in re­la­tion to the sec­ond part of the project.

“Our fo­cus is to de­liver the whole Perth Freight Link project, be­cause in the end, we can’t just stop at the end of the Roe 8 ex­ten­sion.”

Melville Mayor Rus­sell Aubrey said a tun­nel op­tion was sup­ported by his coun­cil.

Re­think the Link’s Kate Kelly, Cockburn Mayor Lo­gan Howlett, coun­cil­lor Phil Eva and Main Roads’ Terry Pearce.

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