Freight link fight not yet over

Protestors against the freight link in Bibra Lake.
Freight link fight not yet over
Protestors against the freight link in Bibra Lake.

PERTH Freight Link (PFL) opponents have hinted a business case for an outer harbour at Cockburn Sound is being prepared.

An October Senate Inquiry into the $1.65 billion road revealed Infrastructure Australia had not previously considered an outer harbour because no referrals had been submitted.

But last week Rethink Perth Freight Link co-convenor Kim Dravnieks suggested a report was not far away.

“Watch this space because I think there could be one coming and Infrastructure Australia must check any business case for an outer harbour against this (PFL),” she said.

Her comments came just moments after protestors greeted Premier Colin Barnett and Transport Minister Dean Nalder, who were in Bibra Lake last week to announce their preferred builder for the first stage of the project.

Roe 8 will link Roe Highway from the Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road via Beeliar Wetlands.

The favoured consortium, led by Leighton Contractors, is expected to be signed to build the 5km road by the end of the year.

Mr Barnett said Roe 8 would take 5000 trucks off local roads and make it easier for people to get to Fiona Stanley Hospital while delivering faster journey times for people who lived and worked south of the river.

“Critically, it will provide the necessary transport infrastructure to support the current port and associated commercial areas of Fremantle, as well as ensuring access to a future port facility to the south,” he said.

Rethink Perth Freight Link co-convenor Kate Kelly pulled back on earlier threats of direct action and said protestors were focusing on other avenues.

“Let’s wait and see if they can build it legally because we’re taking them to court,” she said.

“We believe they’ll be stopped at that court level (and) they’ll have to re-assess it environmentally.”