New port a good idea, says Barnett

�It might be a good idea to make a decision on a new outer harbour very soon, but even if we started today it wouldn�t be operating for 10 years,� Mr Barnett told a North Fremantle Community Association PFL meeting last Tuesday.

The new port had a claimed cost-benefit ratio of about $8.76 generated for each dollar spent when the Labor Opposition approved the concept design in 2007. Mr Barnett said a report he had read indicated the PFL had a cost-benefit ratio of �about 2.5�, and he said a new port could cost �about $4 billion�.

He said cost could also prevent the not-yet-designed section of the PFL from South Lake to North Fremantle, but the Roe 8 component through Beeliar wetlands to Stock Road, costing �less than $500 million�, would be built, taking a claimed 2000 trucks off Leach Highway daily.

Some of Mr Barnett�s western suburbs� electors fear the PFL will funnel more trucks and cars to Curtin Avenue and Stirling Highway, after the Fremantle Port Authority estimated trucks using its wharves would quadruple to 13,200 daily by 2030.

Mr Barnett said he could not guarantee Cottesloe and Mosman Park residents would have fewer trucks from the PFL, but there could be �a string of financial incentives� and �a compulsion� for trucks to use the PFL south to Roe Highway.

No decisions had yet been made about the interchanges and flyovers needed for the PFL.

He said even if the 14 per cent of port containers now carried by rail was increased to 30 per cent, an eventual doubling of Fremantle Port containers would still mean 70 per cent were moved on trucks.