TANGNEY MP Ben Morton has renewed calls for construction of the Perth Freight Link, urging the State Government to “be creative” about avoiding damage to the Beeliar Wetlands but to get on with the project.
Flanked by Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher, who was in WA along with the rest of the Federal Cabinet last week, Mr Morton said the State Government had no solution for reducing traffic congestion on local roads in his electorate.
“Seventy-four thousand cars and 7000 trucks each day will be taken off local roads and on to the Perth Freight Link,” he said.
“In my view it is not about freight, it is about families and those cars coming off local roads and making our communities safer as well.
“When there is $1.2 billion worth of money there to solve a problem, I think the State Government needs to have a look at what their reluctance is, how they can address the issues, and I’d encourage them to reassess what their main motivation behind getting to their position against the PFL was.
“It was because of the wetlands – even though the road was running down an electricity corridor – and they should be creative and propose some other engineering solutions to deal with the couple of hundred metres of concern that they had so that the entire project can continue.”
State Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said Labor’s stance on the PFL was taken to the election and voters were decisively against the project.
“Mr Morton remains stuck in the past,” she said. “The State Government is focused on a range of new projects for the State including a new entrance into the Murdoch Drive precinct, improvements to High Street and widening the freeway from Russell Road to Roe Highway.
“We will also be announcing the make up of an outer harbour taskforce in coming months and are implementing policies to put more freight on rail.”
Mr Fletcher said the Federal Government had already committed to more than $2 billion of funding for road and rail expenditure in WA but that an additional $1.2 billion would remain set aside for any state government that decided to proceed with the PFL.