I’m feeling a bit of road rage…

Fury RThis week, Fremantle Council will adopt a formal position in opposition to the proposed Perth Freight Link.

The Perth Freight Link is the biggest infrastructure project to occur in the Fremantle region in decades. But it is being progressed in a rushed, secretive and chaotic manner.

It flies in the face of decades of freight planning and also the state government’s most recent planning framework “Perth and Peel at 3.5 million” which proposes greater infill and intensification of existing urban areas.

With information only recently being revealed about plans to tunnel under Fremantle, demolish homes in Palmyra and duplicate Stirling bridge – it is clear the State Government is making this up as they go, hiding their plans and not engaging with key stakeholders or the community.

There is no way construction can commence in March next year if the details plans aren’t even known until October. They simply cannot undertake proper assessment of the impacts and implications in that short period of time.

This massive road is a colossal waste of money that will damage and delay Fremantle’s revitalization. It will cut communities from the CBD and restrict access to Fremantle from the east.

We will have to endure up to 13,000 trucks a day barreling at 80km an hour through our community – a four-fold increase the current average of 3000 trucks a day. The increase in truck traffic won’t be limited to the PFL, as trucks seeking to avoid the toll (or the congestion caused by cars) will still use Leach Hwy. North-bound freight will still use Curtin Ave and Stirling Hwy, and Henderson bound traffic could mean even more trucks on Hampton Road!

However, a comprehensive understanding of the local impacts and strategic implications of this toll road are unlikely to be known until well after construction is underway. That is why I chaired a working group that undertook a detailed investigation into the proposed Perth Freight Link – the results are published here.

The report helped inform Council so that we could take position on the proposed Perth Freight Link (available .

I am proud to take an evidence-based and values-based stand against this road.

I am proud to stand with members of my community and the Councils of East Fremantle and Cockburn who don’t think the Perth Freight Link is the right solution.

For the Premier to come out and effectively threaten the Council for daring to speak out about our concerns is akin to silencing dissent through blackmail. However blackmail will fail where logic succeeds… The ever-increasing expansion of roads only increases our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and induces further congestion. The road agenda is such 20th century thinking – and what we need is solutions for the 21st century.

This is a once in a lifetime $2 billion investment in our region – lets fight to make it an investment that helps rather than hinders our goal to be a vibrant and prosperous, sustainable, liveable, urban centre.

Help fight the freight link by joining the “Rethink the link” alliance – sign up at www.rethinkthelink.com.au