Melville warns Perth Freight Link could theaten relations with South West Group of Local Authorities

His comments were made in response to a statement by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt that the proposed underground route from Stock Road to Stirling Bridge was a “gold-plated tunnel to nowhere”.

“These comments frustrate me greatly, as Mayor Pettitt failed to support my motion to elevate the investigation of the construction of the final stage of the Perth Freight Link from Stirling Bridge to the Fremantle Port as a State Government Budget priority at last month’s South West Group’s meeting of mayors and CEOs,” Mr Aubrey said.

“For (surrounding local governments) to say we shouldn’t be building the rest of the Perth Freight Link until the last mile is determined, when they are part of the problem in it not being determined in the first place, defies belief and makes me wonder about other motivations.”

Mr Aubrey said reduced congestion and improved property values in Melville, Fremantle and Cockburn were significant benefits of the Perth Freight Link that had been largely ignored by his fellow mayors.

“‘It’s time for Mayor Pettitt to recognise the construction of Roe 8 and Roe 9, including the tunnel connection to Stirling Bridge, is required urgently to deal with traffic congestion and take 80,000 vehicles per day off our local roads,” he said.

“The suggestion that a new harbour in Kwinana is an alternative is a furphy that would only redirect a proportion of truck traffic, would cause massive environmental destruction, would take 10 years and $5 billion to construct and would still require Roe 8 and 9 to be built to deal with traffic congestion.

“Sadly, we have supported our partners in the South West Group on their issues over the years and to be stonewalled in this way doesn’t inspire myself, or I would think the residents of Melville, to continue working with a group that is working against our interests in terms of road safety and amenity of residents.”

Cr Pettitt disputed Cr Aubrey’s claim that he had failed to support a motion to investigate options for the final stretch of the Perth Freight Link.

“Mayor Aubrey’s comments need some clarification, as there was not a motion put by him to the South West Group board,” Cr Pettitt said.

“While I was not present at this meeting, I am told there was only some discussion on this issue as part of item 5.7 Regional Infrastructure Project Prioritisation Process.

“The SW Group obviously could not reach agreement on this, which is not unusual, and the long-held practice has been to then set this issue aside so we can focus on what we can agree on.

“I am strongly of the belief that investment in a second harbour in Kwinana would have even better outcomes in terms of safety and amenity for both Melville and Fremantle residents.”