May­ors de­bate PFL is­sue


Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - Josh Zimmerman HAVE YOUR SAY Add your com­ment at­mu­ni­

MELVILLE Mayor Rus­sell Aubrey em­pha­sised that re­mov­ing traf­fic, not freight, from lo­cal roads was the ma­jor ben­e­fit of Roe 8 and 9 dur­ing an im­pas­sioned de­fence of the Perth Freight Link pro­ject dur­ing a panel de­bate on Fri­day.

Join­ing Mr Aubrey at the Fu­tureNet event were fel­low may­ors Carol Adams (Kwinana) and Brad Pet­titt (Fre­man­tle), both of whom re­main op­posed to the con­tro­ver­sial road.

Fly­ing the flag for the PFL, Mr Aubrey said that once com­plete, Roe 8 would re­move 80,000 daily traf­fic move­ments from the sur­round­ing road net­work, of which just 3000 would be trucks.

He ar­gued that while con­struc­tion of an Outer Har­bour may re­duce the vol­ume of truck move­ments through the City of Melville, pro­jected growth in pop­u­la­tion den­sity meant the PFL would re­main a vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture pri­or­ity, par­tic­u­larly as it would ease mount­ing con­ges­tion around Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal.

Mr Aubrey main­tained his stance that an Outer Har­bour in Cock­burn Sound would not re­ceive EPA ap­proval and that an ex­pan­sion and automation of Fre­man­tle Port was the bet­ter op­tion.

Dr Pet­titt said the City of Fre­man­tle was op­posed to ex­pand­ing the port and viewed the area on the south­ern side of the har­bour – much of which is an ex­ten­sive car park – as a valu­able land par­cel beg­ging for de­vel­op­ment.

He con­ceded that the Coali­tion Govern­ment’s vic­tory at the Fed­eral Elec­tion meant Roe 8 would al­most cer­tainly go ahead as planned but said the rest of the nearly $1.9 bil­lion com­mit­ted to the pro­ject would be bet­ter spent on pub­lic trans­port.

He also called for a cost-ben­e­fit anal­y­sis of both the Perth Freight Link and the Outer Har­bour and said that if the PFL was found to be the bet­ter op­tion he would sup­port the pro­ject.

Mrs Adams la­belled the PFL “sub-op­ti­mal” and said a hos­tile Se­nate could still refuse to re­lease funds for Roe 8.

She con­ceded a fully com­pleted Outer Har­bour car­ried a hefty $6 bil­lion price tag but said it would bring long-term jobs to a Kwinana re­gion that is strug­gling with high un­em­ploy­ment.

She also said an Outer Har­bour ca­pa­ble of ac­com­mo­dat­ing Cape­size ships, the largest dry cargo ships in the world, would open WA to new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

May­ors Carol Adams, Rus­sell Aubrey and Brad Pet­titt at the de­bate last Fri­day.

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