Aubrey stays the course

Protestors at last week’s meeting
Protestors at last week’s meeting

MELVILLE Mayor Russell Aubrey has stood his ground on the controversial Perth Freight Link (PFL), despite news of a Senate investigation into the project�s financing and the decision-making behind it.

He told a business breakfast held at the City of Melville last week that all interested parties should have access to the facts around the plan.

�This is a very, very important infrastructure development potentially for the City of Melville and you can imagine that the City is very keen to make sure all the correct information is provided,� he said.

A tunnel from Hamilton Hill through to Fremantle as part of the Roe 9 stage of the Perth Freight Link is looking increasingly likely, although it could be delayed after Transport Minister Dean Nalder said exact timing for the build was not locked in.

Mr Nalder told a business breakfast last week that being able to deliver a twin bored tunnel railway line out to Forrestfield as part of the $2 billion airport link at a price in line with doing it above ground meant he �felt a lot more comfortable to explore this as a potential solution for getting us to the port�.

The other option is to continue the link down Stock Road and Leach Highway/ High Street.

Mr Nalder said part two was yet to be finalised, but he did apologise to Palmyra residents for the �uncertainty� created while he explored alternative routes.

A Palmyra resident said her family were working around the clock to finish renovations so they could be compensated appropriately should the State Government resume her home.

�We�ve just been spending money to try get it finished, potentially so they can knock it over,� she said.

Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk argued that the uncertainty was wide-spread and that the project should be scrapped.

A City of Melville report by technical services director John Christie in July found 72 commercial and residential properties would be affected if the Stock Road/ Leach Highway option went ahead, �from full acquisition, to minor land take, to changes in access�.

Of the 46 residential properties, 20 are in Palmyra, 21 in Willagee and five are in Hamilton Hill and Fremantle.

�The City is firmly of the view that Option 2 with a tunnel under the Fremantle Eastern Bypass alignment is the best outcome for the community, the long-term operation of the Perth Freight Link and Fremantle Port,� Mr Christie said.