The West Australian
Roe 8 is an expensive redundancy
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