Perth Freight link cold feet now frozen

WA premier looks to revisit complex and controversial project this time next year

Perth Freight link cold feet now frozen
Colin Barnett has delayed the proposed infrastructure.


Western Australian premier Colin Barnett concedes the Perth Freight Link is in no state to proceed and has put it on ice for a year.

The news comes just days after he and Transport Minister Dean Nalder announced a consortium led by Leighton Contractors would build Roe 8, the Roe Highway extension from the Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road.

"I’m not about to rush into a decision on a link from the end of Roe 8, yet to be built, to the Fremantle Port because it’s incredibly complicated, incredibly expensive for what it does," Barnett says.

"We might see where we’re at in 12 months’ time, but for the moment all of our effort is Roe 8, the rail line to the airport and Forrestfield and the Swan Valley bypass.

"They are the highest priorities."

The admission, which follows several indications from Barnett that he was having difficulties with the project and an Infrastructure Australia report that highlighted shortcomings, was picked up by his political opponents and those opposed to the project.

"PFL is a road to nowhere," state Labor opposition leader Mark McGowan says.

"It stops at the wrong side of the Swan River with no plans to take the freight across the river into Fremantle Port. PFL will create a massive bottleneck at the already congested Stirling Bridge.

"The Perth Freight Link will result in more trucks on local roads including Leach Highway, Curtin Avenue and Stirling Highway.

"Government figures show that 42 per cent of trucks will not use the toll road and will travel on our local roads instead." 

The project’s second section is to link Roe 8 to Fremantle Port.

Of Roe 8, Barnett says it will "take 5,000 trucks off local roads and make it easier for people to access Fiona Stanley Hospital while delivering faster journey times for people who live and work south of the river.

"Critically, it will provide the necessary transport infrastructure to support the current port and associated commercial areas of Fremantle, as well as ensuring access to a future port facility to the south."



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