City of Cockburn won’t poll residents about Roe 8 views

An artist’s impression of Roe 8 in Bibra Lake.
An artist’s impression of Roe 8 in Bibra Lake.

THE City of Cockburn will not poll residents on their view of the $1.9 billion Perth Freight Link.

The council’s position against the construction of the link, which is proposed to connect Roe Highway to the port in Fremantle, is based on anecdotal evidence that most of the community is against it and a poll on this issue would have been a first.

But despite a recommendation from a council officer that the City spend $7200 on a phone poll of 1500 residents, that will not happen.

At its meeting on Thursday night, councillors instead supported East ward Cr Steve Portelli’s alternative which recommended the council not commission a poll on Roe 8.

MORE: Cockburn to consider freight link phone poll

Cr Portelli said the proposed poll question – “Do you oppose the construction of the Perth Freight Link (PFL)/Roe 8 between Kwinana Freeway and Stirling Bridge?” – was worded to minimise support for Roe 8.

He said the “unknown will cause concern” among Cockburn residents who may have been polled.

“The poll is also moot as the contracts are signed and construction is to start within a month, so why waste $7000?” he said.

“Why waste officers’ time collating results and reporting back to council?

“If such a poll was to be carried out then we should have ensured a bigger sample spread out over Cockburn properly.”

The vote finished square at 4-4, with Mayor Logan Howlett using his casting vote to back Cr Portelli’s recommendation.

Cr Kevin Allen, who in September prompted the City to look into the possibility of the poll due to the extensive debate and emotion brought on by the road, said it would have clarified what the community thought.

“We have some councillors saying there’s no community support for Roe 8 and others saying there is support,” he said.

“The poll would have clarified the position.”