Cottesloe residents journey to Beeliar in protest against Roe 8

Cottesloe residents journey to Beeliar in protest against Roe 8
Cottesloe residents journey to Beeliar in protest against Roe 8

OPPOSITION to more containers on coastal Curtin Avenue sent about 15 Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association (CRRA) members to support an anti-Roe 8 protest in Beeliar last Thursday.

“The long term effect of Roe 8 for Cottesloe is a significant increase in container trucks that use Curtin Avenue then travel via Marmion Avenue on to Reid Hwy, with a final destination at Muchea, Gingin or Bullsbrook,” CRRA secretary Yvonne Hart said.

Her group’s members joined about 1000 others from across Perth to rail against the Roe 8 section of Roe Highway, the first section of the controversial $1.8 billion Perth Freight Link to Fremantle Port, at the southern end of Premier Colin Barnett’s Cottesloe electorate.

CRRA members are concerned about an estimated trebling to 900 daily container trucks on the avenue through the centre of the expensive suburb within 10 years.

It is contested the rise will occur either when the PFL is completed, or a private port operator is allowed to expand operations without construction of a long-planned second container terminal in Kwinana that could compete against the investment.

After about 20 arrests in Beeliar today, none of them from Cottesloe, it will alleged protestors trespassed the route being cleared by the State Government through the wetlands east of Fremantle.

“Not only is Roe 8 an environmental disaster, the Perth Freight Link will embed forever a truck transport corridor in Curtin,” Mrs Hart said.

High-profile arrests after the failure of several legal challenges by the Save Beeliar Wetlands group have included Fremantle Cr Sam Wainwright and Melville Cr Tim Barling.

Mrs Hart would not comment on whether the protests could move from Beeliar, but said Cottesloe ratepayers would continue to support the anti-Roe 8 lobby until and beyond the State Election on March 11.

Mr Barnett said while there was a right to protest at Beeliar, there was no right to break down fences and stop the lawful construction of the six-lane highway after the “legal stunt” of several court cases to stop the project.

He said most voters supported taking trucks off southern suburbs’ roads and Roe 8 used less than one per cent of the environmentally sensitive wetlands.

Despite the protests, bulldozers were back at work last Thursday, at the end of which a small group of protestors took their grievance to Mr Barnett’s electorate office.