While most councillors seemed opposed to the scale of the upgrade and were concerned about the effect on residents, pedestrians and cyclists as well as the increase in freight traffic, Mayor Brad Pettitt led the charge calling for a willingness to be ‘pragmatic’.
The upgrade would likely go ahead anyway, Dr Pettitt argued, but by agreeing to some aspects the City of Fremantle might have some input into compensation afforded to those affected including Fremantle Environmental Resource Network (FERN) which operates out of the Community Sustainability Centre.
Main Roads WA has committed to cover the cost of relocating FERN, with a plan to investigate Boo Park as a new venue, as well as a relocated golf course clubhouse.
Central to councillors’ concerns was the Main Roads proposal to build the four-lane highway in a six-lane road reserve.
‘But the key point is that Main Roads needs us to have this meeting tonight because they want us to make the (land) excision process easier and that’s because they need the social license to make it happen,’ Cr Dave Coggin said.
‘We will live with the consequences if they are vindictive, however they will have to be vindictive in a much more public way.
‘I think we are better off having the high moral ground and just saying no.’
The resolution that will go before full council tomorrow night will indicate that council supports the construction of a four-lane highway in a four-lane road reserve, supports left in-left out access to Fremantle Golf Course from High Street and will indicate its opposition to a six-lane road reserve for the project.