Main Roads widening of road at Port Beach is ‘suspicious’

Demolition works at Caltex’s depot next to the road reserve.
Demolition works at Caltex’s depot next to the road reserve.

MAIN Roads WA has confirmed it wants a wider road reserve at Port Beach Road that will feed Fremantle Port trucks to any realigned Curtin Avenue into Cottesloe.

“It seems that Main Roads is acting by stealth, avoiding all public consultation and ignoring the concerns of the landowners, and it is high time that it and Transport Minister Dean Nalder explained the plans it has in mind for this road and all major routes leading to Cottesloe,” Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman John Hammond said.

Port Beach Road goes to the Leighton Beach development that has been in Fremantle Council plans since the former marshalling yard site was earmarked for beach apartments in the 1990s.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said widening the road’s reserve was “very suspicious” as it could allow more trucks to Curtin Avenue if the controversial Perth Freight Link was built.

“My fear is that with talk of doubling of the port’s traffic, Main Roads could be undermining residential development in that Leighton area, which historically has been built around planning to get trucks away from coastal routes,” Dr Pettitt said.

In March, WA builder Pindan, superannuation fund Hostplus, Industry Super Property Trust and property group Roxy Pacific bought the industrial zoned 4.4ha former Caltex fuel depot at Walter Place that links the 200m west from Curtin Avenue to Port Beach Road.

The depot is being demolished but nearby Leighton Beach developers have been restricted from digging deep because of fears leaked fuel could be disturbed.

A Caltex spokeswoman said fuel spill barriers being removed at the depot would not be replaced, and the site would be remediated before the new owners took possession.

Pindan is currently investigating uses for the depot, but it would not comment on widening the road near its purchase.

A Main Roads spokeswoman said a wider reserve was for any future Curtin Avenue extension and its intersection with Walter Place, and no land was needed from the fuel depot.