PREMIER and Cottesloe MLA Colin Barnett said building the first part of the controversial $1.9 billion Perth Freight Link through the Beeliar wetlands will take trucks of Cottesloe’s Curtin Avenue even as Fremantle Port traffic trebles to an estimated two million containers by 2030.
“The more congested Curtin Avenue gets, the more the trucks will be directed to go on the freight link, and that will give them basically no intersections between here and Kewdale, the bulk freight area, and Muchea,” Mr Barnett told the Western Suburbs Weekly.
PFL critics during the Federal Election argued container trucks would treble to about 900 daily on the narrow avenue.
Mr Barnett said the PFL’s Roe 8 first stage in the wetlands, now being contested in the Supreme Court, would release the “cork in the bottle” preventing trucks taking a route south from the port and away from Cottesloe.
“If that is built, many of the trucks that would have gone along Curtin Avenue would go along the freight link and a lot of them would be required to do so, and it will be more efficient for them with a quicker journey, they’d save on petrol, they won’t be braking and starting again, which saves a huge amount of fuel and time,” he said.
However, the full PFL from the wetlands to East Fremantle depends on $1.2b from the Federal Government, and crossbench Senator Nick Xenophon and other independents may hold the balance of power in Canberra.
Mr Barnett said Senator Xenophon would have no role in the PFL because his SA-based centrist party had no WA MPs.
He said the $1.2b was “assured” from a Government led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, but if the money did not arrive, the PFL would take longer to build.
Rethink the Link spokeswoman Kim Dravnieks said people should know why the State Government was spending $90,000 on a PFL financial review when there was “supposed to be a solid business case for the project”.
Ms Dravnieks said no truck groups were being consulted about their preferences for Curtin Avenue.