Claims False: Cockburn Outer Harbour

SOME supporters of Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link have been misleading your readers by saying that the proposed Outer Harbour in Cockburn Sound will be more environmentally damaging than Roe 8.

Their claims are clearly false, as I shall explain.

The previous State Government planned the access to the Outer Harbour via the Kwinana Freeway and Tonkin Highway with connections to Rowley, Anketell and Thomas roads. This was part of its Metropolitan Freight Strategy.

All of these roads are already in place, except for the Rowley Road extension and that was subjected to an environmental impact study by Main Roads in 2004.

After considerable public consultation, an agreed route was found that caused minimal environmental impact. Furthermore, the Outer Harbour will be constructed in a highly degraded part of Cockburn Sound where there are no remaining sea grass beds and the shipping channels are already in place and have been used for many years.

Contrast this with the enormous destruction of high-quality banksia woodland and wetland required to construct Roe 8 and you can see how baseless their claims are.

Furthermore, they know that the Outer Harbour will still be needed soon after 2020, regardless of whether Roe 8 and the PFL are built or not.

So why degrade this precious biodiversity and destroy the Beeliar wetlands for such a short-term objective?

The Perth Freight Link is clearly a fatally flawed and highly wasteful project and the State Government should redirect the funding into the Outer Harbour project.

PHILIP JENNINGS, Murdoch.