Opinion: Confusion over Roe Highway extension opposition

CONFUSION and hypocrisy abound with opposition to the Roe Highway extension to Fremantle.

The City of Melville supports the original bypass alignment to make freight, commercial and commuter traffic to and from Fremantle safer and more efficient.

A minority group in Palmyra and Bicton opposes the City’s initiatives and risks Palmyra and Willagee residents losing their homes and Stock Road businesses being severely affected with the potential loss of more than 500 local jobs.

The City of Cockburn is begging for funds to build a bridge and roads in fear of growing congestion on south metro roads, yet is funding the groups fighting against Roe Highway, which will ease congestion and lower the accident rates in the region.

The City of Fremantle wants Fremantle Port to remain a working port. It just does not want the imports and exports coming and going on its roads thank you.

Enter “independent” sustainability guru Professor Peter Newman, former City of Fremantle councillor and adviser to Alannah McTiernan. His report for the City opposing the Roe Highway extension neglected issues including increasing population, increasing traffic and freight congestion and increased accident rate and trauma in Melville being 50 per cent higher than the metropolitan average.

The report also failed to analyse the benefits of a purpose built, free-flowing four-lane highway that with increased efficiency would be safer and reduce pollution.

Paradoxically, had the planned Roe Highway been completed by now, Fremantle Bridge could have been duplicated for a port nearing capacity and there would be massive fights about saving Cockburn Sound from the damage of building an outer harbour.

That fight, my friends, is still to come.

PATRICIA PHELAN, Willagee.