Opposition gets unlikely award
RETHINK THE LINK GROUP RECOGNISED
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.
Rethink the Link co-ordinator Kim Dravnieks with the group’s Premier’s Award.