Roe debate rolls on

‘The project has no business case, no finalised traffic modelling and has not been accepted by environmental or heritage regulators,’ he said.

‘Prime Minister Tony Abbott thought it would be a good idea to pre-emptively announce that taxpayers would punt more than $900 million on the project.’

But State Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the project should not be rushed and more information would be released to the public as it became available.

‘This is a proposal from the Federal Government and we are weighing it up,’ he said.

‘On face value, it looks like it has enormous opportunity for Western Australia.

‘We need to make sure all three elements ” environmental, social and economic ” stack up.

‘As we work through those, we will provide further information.’

Perth MHR Alannah MacTiernan said the extension would be out of date from the day it was due to open in 2021.

Ms MacTiernan said Fremantle Port would have reached its maximum capacity by then and a new facility at Kwinana would need to be in place.

‘The new facility would be expected to take 40 per cent of the container trade from Fremantle from the outset, significantly reducing truck traffic to Fremantle,’ she said.

‘It would be far cheaper to get on with developing the new facility at Kwinana, and roads and infrastructure in and out.

‘In the interim, improving the rail subsidy into Fremantle would be a more cost-effective way of managing container traffic into Fremantle.’

However, Treasurer Mike Nahan said the project would help deliver better freight safety and efficiency around the metropolitan area.

He said it would be a high-standard and traffic light-free freight corridor to the port of Fremantle.

‘Alannah MacTiernan has been a constant, misinformed critic of the project and in fact has done everything in her power to scuttle the project,’ Mr Nahan said.

He said it was estimated travel times between Reid Highway and the Port of Fremantle would be reduced by about 16 minutes.

The extension would also provide a link to the $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital, which is due to open later this year.