Roe ‘a white elephant’

Ms MacTiernan said Fremantle Port would have reached its capacity by then and a new facility at Kwinana would need to be in place.

‘The new facility would be expected to take 40 per cent of the container trade from Fremantle from the outset, significantly reducing truck traffic to Fremantle,’ she said.

‘It would be far cheaper to get on with developing the new facility at Kwinana, and roads and infrastructure in and out.

‘In the interim, improving the rail subsidy into Fremantle would be a more cost-effective way of managing container traffic into Fremantle.’

But Treasurer Mike Nahan said the Federal Government’s proposal to spend $925 million on the Roe 8 Extension and Perth Freight Link Project would improve traffic flow.

He said it would also improve freight safety and efficiency around the metropolitan area, providing a traffic light-free corridor to the port.

‘Alannah MacTiernan has been a constant, misinformed critic of the project and in fact has done everything in her power to scuttle the project,’ Dr Nahan said. ‘In 2003, as Minister for Transport, she deleted the Fremantle Eastern Bypass from the Metropolitan Region Scheme to try to stop Roe 8 ever being built.

‘She has demonised the Roe 8 Extension despite all the evidence from the Department of Planning that considers this project to be a necessary part of the State’s road network.’

Dr Nahan said he supported any project that took heavy vehicles off local roads and improved the productivity of the freight network.

It is estimated travel times between Reid Highway and the Port of Fremantle would be reduced by about 16 minutes.

The extension would also provide a link to the $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital.