Op­po­si­tion gets un­likely award


Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Bryce Luff

THEY are en­e­mies in the fight over the Perth Freight Link (PFL) but the State Govern­ment has shown re­spect for the work of Re­think the Link (RTL) af­ter it was awarded a Premier’s Aus­tralia Day Ac­tive Cit­i­zen­ship Award.

RTL picked up the Out­stand­ing Com­mu­nity Con­tri­bu­tion by a Lo­cal Group award at the City of Fre­man­tle’s Aus­tralia Day cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony last Tues­day.

The Premier’s Awards are run by the Of­fice of Premier and Cab­i­net, Aus­tralia Day WA and the WA Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion.

RTL co-or­di­na­tor Kim Dravnieks was proud to re­ceive the gong but said the irony was not lost on mem­bers.

“On the one hand the Premier’s Awards shows ac­tive cit­i­zens are re­ally wel­come and val­ued but on the other hand the work we’ve been do­ing has been about cre­at­ing trans­parency in govern­ment and call­ing for the com­mu­nity to be in­volved in de­ci­sion mak­ing that makes a dif­fer­ence to com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

The award was given just four days af­ter the State Govern­ment an­nounced it would ap­peal against a De­cem­ber court de­ci­sion that halted the Roe 8 ex­ten­sion.

The Govern­ment is also set to call on the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity (EPA) to re­assess its pro­posal for the con­tro­ver­sial high­way.

“The State Govern­ment will re­quest a re­assess­ment of the Roe 8 pro­ject to en­sure that this crit­i­cal pro­ject pro­ceeds with all nec­es­sary en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­provals in place,” Premier Colin Bar­nett said.

Ms Dravnieks said she hoped their voice would be heard dur­ing pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.

“(Dur­ing the last EPA as­sess­ment) we had so many ex­pert opin­ions show the Beel­iar Wetlands were a state as­set, they were highly sig­nif­i­cant and there was no way that it could be ame­lio­rated to put a road through there with­out se­vere dam­age,” she said.

Cock­burn Mayor Lo­gan Howlett said he was un­sur­prised the Govern­ment would con­tinue push­ing Roe 8.

“Our City and its com­mu­nity stand res­o­lute in op­pos­ing Roe 8,,” he said.

“Trans­fer­ring a prob­lem from one lo­cal govern­ment to an­other is not the an­swer and re­flects the on­go­ing lack of a proper process to im­prove the freight move­ment task in the south-west metropoli­tan area.”

But the Govern­ment re­ceived sup­port from Melville Mayor Rus­sell Aubrey.

“My per­sonal view is that the op­po­si­tion to Roe 8 is an un­con­scionable political ploy that is un­nec­es­sar­ily putting lives and prop­er­ties at risk for the longer term,” he said.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d449117

Re­think the Link co-or­di­na­tor Kim Dravnieks with the group’s Premier’s Award.

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