Roe 8 is an ex­pen­sive re­dun­dancy

The West Australian - - LETTERS -

Colin Barnett’s claim that the Roe High­way ex­ten­sion should be built be­cause it “has been a part of Perth’s long-term plan­ning for 50 years” ( News, 21/12) is disin­gen­u­ous.

The 1955 Stephen­son-Hep­burn Plan for Perth and Fre­man­tle was a product of the val­ues and con­ven­tions of its time.

It val­orised free­ways, and its so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts were not sub­ject to ex­pert re­view or public in­put. Its ar­chi­tects didn’t know that in the long run, more roads cre­ate more traf­fic con­ges­tion.

Fur­ther­more, Perth’s road net­work has evolved be­yond both the 1955 Plan and the 1963 Met­ro­pol­i­tan Re­gion Scheme (MRS) based on it.

In the 1963 MRS the north­ern sec­tion of what is now the Kwinana Free­way ended at Roe High­way, and Stock Road was to be the main high­way con­nect­ing the city with Kwinana. This made Roe 8 an es­sen­tial link be­tween the two.

With the 1970 Cor­ri­dor Plan pro­posal to ex­tend the Kwinana Free­way south past the in­ter­sec­tion with Roe High­way, Roe 8 be­came less crit­i­cal.

The emer­gence of Leach High­way as a func­tional freight route to Fre­man­tle, and the de-in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of North Coogee (the Roe High­way’s orig­i­nal planned end point) fur­ther eroded its util­ity.

Af­ter an ex­ten­sive and open con­sul­ta­tion process with com­mu­nity and in­dus­try, which in­cluded anal­y­sis of the so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic im­pact of sev­eral pro­posed freight routes, the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Freight Net­work Re­view (2002) rec­om­mended that Roe 8 not be con­structed.

As such, Roe 8 be­longs with other re­dun­dant parts of the 1963 plan, such as the Stephen­son High­way that would have run across Herds­man Lake, Wem­b­ley golf course, Floreat, Bold Park and Mt Clare­mont. So let’s stop think­ing about this road as an his­tor­i­cal in­evitabil­ity and recog­nise it for the ex­pen­sive white ele­phant it is. As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor An­drea Gaynor, UWA depart­ment of his­tory

Des­e­cra­tion of bush­land

Roe 8 is the most im­por­tant, but not the only re­cent, ex­am­ple of the Govern­ment or its agen­cies not ap­ply­ing its poli­cies con­cern­ing the pro­tec­tion of pre­cious en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sets and ap­prov­ing their de­struc­tion or degra­da­tion de­spite vi­able al­ter­na­tives.

On De­cem­ber 19, Plan­ning Min­is­ter Donna Faragher ap­proved re­de­vel­op­ment plans for the 15.8ha Royal Perth Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Hos­pi­tal site in Shen­ton Park.

Un­for­tu­nately, this will re­sult in the des­e­cra­tion of one of the few re­main­ing west­ern sub­urbs rem­nants of lo­cal bush­land, which func­tions as part of a re­gion­ally im­por­tant eco­log­i­cal link­age be­tween Bold and Kings parks.

The Govern­ment’s State Plan­ning Poli­cies 2.8, con­cern­ing Perth’s bush­land, and 3.7 about plan­ning in bush­fire prone ar­eas and the Cap­i­tal City Plan­ning Frame­work, all rec­om­mend that this bush­land be re­tained due to its link­age func­tion and its en­vi­ron­men­tal sig­nif­i­cance.

Which as­sets do you think fu­ture gen­er­a­tions would most want be­queathed to them? A toll road to nowhere and two apart­ment blocks, or a ma­jor wet­land and a rem­nant of ir­re­place­able banksia wood­land? Lyn Jen­nings, Floreat

An in­clu­sive greet­ing

Maybe, just maybe, the greet­ing Happy Hol­i­days is not all about po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

The in­clu­sive­ness of Happy Hol­i­days not only picks up the cel­e­bra­tion of Christ­mas and the New Year, but also recog­nises non-Chris­tians who en­joy giv­ing and re­ceiv­ing the good­will in­her­ent in a non-de­nom­i­na­tional greet­ing.

Happy Hol­i­days ev­ery­one. Phil Sa­muell, Dianella

Obama and Is­rael

So Barack Obama thinks he would have won again if al­lowed to run. Sorry, no way.

Af­ter he de­serted Is­rael in the UN, fair minded Amer­i­cans would have turned against him. Pa­trick F. Whalen, Yokine

EU must change course

The sober­ing re­al­ity of the Paris, Nice and Ber­lin ter­ror­ist at­tacks can no longer be swept un­der the car­pet by the wish­ful think­ing and plat­i­tudes of EU lead­ers. The peace­time mer­its of the Schen­gen Agree­ment must be re­con­sid­ered by a Europe that finds it­self in a war with Is­lamist ter­ror­ism.

Europe’s open bor­ders may have helped com­merce, but they have pro­vided a seam­less, con­veyor for the con­ta­gion of Is­lamist ter­ror­ism.

Is­lamist ter­ror­ism can­not be con­trolled and de­feated if it can­not first be con­tained.

There­fore, be­fore chart­ing a course to a se­cure fu­ture, the good ship Europe must ac­cept the in­creased rigid­ity of hav­ing to re­in­state its na­tional bulk­heads. Mark Dyer, Rock­ing­ham

Barack Obama

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