Group vows to stop Hwy extension

Save Beeliar Wetlands campaigners.
Save Beeliar Wetlands campaigners.

On Friday, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt described it as a ‘very expensive investment in the wrong kind of infrastructure’.

The Federal Government is yet to announce the exact amount it will commit to the four-lane dual carriageway extension from Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road, but announced $886 million would go towards the $1.6 billion Perth Freight Link project ” of which the extension is a part ” over the next five years.

The Perth Freight Link project also includes upgrades of Stock Road, Leach Highway, High Street and Stirling Highway in a move to turn Roe Highway into the preferred east-west freight route.

The Federal Government’s commitment requires the State Government to contribute $235 million towards the Roe 8 extension.

Co-contributions will be sought from the private sector.

Fremantle Council voted against the Main Roads terms for the upgrade of High Street to accommodate increased freight traffic in March.

At the time, councillors said that while an upgrade was needed at the intersection, the size of the proposal was more than required and questioned whether the upgrade would lead to the extension of Roe Highway.

The extension had been given conditional approval by the Environmental Protection Authority in September.

More than 160 appeals were made after the EPA’s decision, drawing out the approval process.

A spokeswoman for the Appeals Convenor said the investigation into the appeals was ongoing, but believed a report could be ready for consideration next month.

Fremantle MHR Melissa Parke questioned why money had not been put towards public transport or rail freight.

‘The precious Beeliar wetlands are now under threat by a government that has no vision for sustainable transport,’ she said.

Save Beeliar Wetlands campaigner Kate Kelly said there would be significant resistance.

‘Any threat to the wetlands, its birds and wildlife will be met with widespread civil disobedience,’ she said. ‘Any private developer hoping to build this tollway should prepare themselves.’