Melville and Cockburn councils at loggerheads over plans to widen Farrington Road

Photo: Bryce Luff
Photo: Bryce Luff

A NEW road battle could be brewing between the cities of Melville and Cockburn, with the neighbouring councils divided on the need to duplicate Farrington Road west of the Kwinana Freeway.

Farrington Road is a dual carriageway, but the City of Cockburn’s long-term Regional and Major Roadworks 2016-2030 document flags widening it between North Lake Road and Bibra Drive in the 2020-21 financial year.

It also indicates plans to construct a second carriageway along Karel Avenue from Farrington Road to Berrigan Drive in Leeming between 2022 and 2024.

The City of Melville is responsible for Farrington Road from where it meets Bibra Drive east.

Melville councillors last week passed a motion stating they had no intention of changing the layout of the road.

The City of Cockburn has been a vocal opponent of the now-shelved Perth Freight Link (PFL) and Melville councillor Clive Robartson, who proposed the motion, believes the two projects are an attempt to alleviate east-west traffic flow issues that would have been solved if Roe 8 was constructed.

“These forward works clearly indicate that the City of Cockburn intends to develop a northern bypass via Farrington Road through the City of Melville to access Roe Highway at Karel Avenue,” he said.

“There is considerable concern that this will lead to a dramatic increase in traffic through the residential part of Farrington Road.

“The City of Cockburn has opposed the extension of Roe 8 on mainly environmental grounds yet the intended road works will cross the Beeliar wetlands between the Murdoch University wetland and fragile North Lake.”

Cockburn chief executive Stephen Cain said the Regional and Major Roadworks 2016-2030 document had not been reviewed since the PFL was formally cancelled and the new Murdoch Drive extension announced.

“The City is in the process of reviewing the impact of this change, noting that an intersection from the link road is likely to bring a considerable volume of traffic on to Farrington Road, as well as impact Bibra Drive and Allendale Entrance,” he said.

He also rejected the notion it would be hypocritical to widen Farrington Road.

“The impact of clearing the minimal regrowth and construction of such a duplication would be a quantum difference to the PFL project’s wholesale clearing of 33ha of virgin bushland,” he said.

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