An alliance of conservation and community groups has condemned the environmental approval for the Roe8 Highway Extension announced today – the first stage of the controversial Perth Freight Link.
The final route for the Perth Freight Link through the southern suburbs has not been finalised and some residents have been told they may lose their homes.
The Save Beeliar Wetlands campaign group, the Conservation Council of Western Australia and the Rethink Perth Freight Link Alliance are working together to stop the 6 lane freeway through the wetlands and communities of North Lake, Bibra Lake, Coolbellup, Hamilton Hill and St Pauls Estate.
Save Beeliar Wetlands Convenor (and Rethink Perth Freight Link co-convenor) Kate Kelly said “we will be pursuing every legal pathway to contest this ill considered approval by Minister Jacobs. A Federal environmental assessment will now take place and we will be holding the Government to account over that assessment while we consider legal options to challenge the State Government approval”
“The Roe 8 highway extension is environmentally irresponsible, while most modernised nations are removing freeways, improving public transport and shifting freight movements to rail”
“Bulldozing 97.8 ha of urban bushland is no way to treat one of our most sensitive environmental and cultural sites in the metro area.”
Rethink Perth Link co-convenor Kim Dravnieks says that “The Roe 8 extension has now been supersized to create a new project: the Perth Freight Link – this new project has no finalised route to Freo Port.
If Roe 8 is built, residents in Melville, Hamilton Hill, Beaconfield, White Gum Valley and Fremantle will always be under threat from a truck tollway right through the middle of their suburbs.”
Ms Dravnieks points out that “there has been no details of the business case or traffic modelling for the Perth Freight Link.”
Conservation Council of WA Director Piers Verstegen said “The Roe highway extension through Beeliar Wetlands was a bad idea in the 1970’s and is an even worse idea now.
“The Beeliar Wetlands are one of our last remaining environmental and cultural heritage jewels in the metropolitan area – equivalent to Kings Park for the Southern Suburbs.
“There is simply no way to build a multi-lane freeway through this incredibly sensitive environment without doing irreversible damage to the environmental and cultural heritage of this amazing place.
“If this was in the Western Suburbs there is no way a freeway through this very sensitive area would be contemplated.
“We know that building more roads leads to more cars, more trucks and more traffic Jams.
“Every dollar spent on this project is a dollar less that will be spent on clean, safe and affordable public transport which is the only long-term solution to Perth’s traffic problems.”
The project still requires approval from the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and community groups will be examining the potential to challenge this approval in the courts.
Kim Dravnieks Co-convenor Rethink Perth Freight Link Alliance 0419 928 618
Grainne O'Donovan Media spokesperson RPFL 0488 195347
Kate Kelly Convenor Save Beeliar Wetlands, Co-convenor Rethink Perth Freight Link Alliance 0424497653
Piers Verstegen – Conservation Council of Western Australia – 0411 557 892