MELVILLE Mayor Russell Aubrey has accused the Labor Party of orchestrating a campaign against the Roe Highway extension, alongside the cities of Cockburn and Fremantle and the Town of East Fremantle.
He said, along with the councils and green and community groups, Labor was trying “to deprive Melville of its road infrastructure funding for the Perth Freight Link (PFL) and divert the money into the Fremantle and Cockburn electorates”.
“Their strategy relies heavily on isolating and undermining Melville, particularly me as the only opposing mayor, and stalling the project until the next election,” Mr Aubrey said.
“They are running candidates in all wards and against me, as Melville is the only independent local government in the region.”
He said he was confident 90 per cent of Melville ratepayers wanted the link, about 1 per cent was probably against it, and the other 9 per cent hadn’t made up their minds yet.
The mayor moved a motion successfully at last week’s council meeting to have the chief executive prepare a report about the State Government’s proposal to resurrect the Fremantle Eastern Bypass, using road reserve and building a tunnel. The report will consider the environmental sensitivity of the areas through which the highway would pass.
The mayor said he believed local business people supported the link, with the bypass option, and he would fight for it to come to fruition.
“I’ve been lobbying for 15 years on the Roe Highway and the FEB, I’m not giving up until natural justice is done for Melville residents and the Roe Highway is built through to the port,” he said.
“The traffic congestion problems in Melville are mainly caused by trucks and cars destined to and from Fremantle and Cockburn and we don’t want them dumped in Melville in perpetuity.
“I’m disgusted in Cockburn, Fremantle and East Fremantle’s efforts to inflict traffic chaos, road trauma, loss of homes, closure of businesses, loss of hundreds of jobs and pollution on Melville’s residents. It’s an exercise in political greed and selfishness and I’m concerned about the level of control political parties now have on local governments.”