Perth Freight Link: Bishop has no truck with fears

CURTIN MHR Julie Bishop says voters in the south of her electorate should not fear that the controversial Perth Freight Link (PFL) will send more trucks from Fremantle Port through Cottesloe.

“With both cost and time savings from Roe 8 and section two of Perth Freight Link, there will be no incentive for additional trucks to seek alternate routes such as heading north from the port as it would not make any sense, economically or operationally,” Ms Bishop told the Western Suburbs Weekly.

Concern that the PFL would enable Fremantle Port container movements to treble to two million by 2030, with a corresponding increase on Cottesloe’s Curtin Avenue, prompted Cottesloe councillor Sandra Boulter to run as a single-issue candidate at the Federal election.

Ms Bishop said private investment in a Kwinana port would only happen when there was a “sufficiently significant volume” of trade to make it viable, before which the PFL was crucial to providing an “efficient” link to Fremantle Harbour.

Ms Boulter said she wanted potentially increased pollution and truck congestion in Cottesloe on “the election radar” after the Coalition remained resolute about it contributing $1.2 billion to the $1.9 billion PFL.

“The main issue is there’s already 300 container trucks daily, on top of about a thousand normal freight trucks, which are OK, but if the expansion of Fremantle Port that is anticipated goes ahead then the containers could go up to 900 each day,” Ms Boulter said.

The State and previously Federal Government-funded Freight and Logistics Council of WA challenges the claims. Chairman Fred Affleck said while 85 per cent of containers were trucked, less than 12 per cent used Port Beach Road, which links to Curtin Avenue and northern suburbs.

“Container truck movements on Port Beach Road have fallen recently as the economy slows and now represent only 2 per cent of overall vehicle movements on that road,” he said.

See letters, page 8