By Claire Egan
Former SAS commander Peter Tinley, now the Member for Willagee, is spearheading a campaign against the Roe Highway extension and believes community opposition could change the Barnett Government’s support for the project.
Mr Tinley and Labor’s Francis Logan, Member for Cockburn, along with the Bibra Lake Residents’ Association, tabled a petition in Parliament last week with 1400 signatures protesting the proposed extension.
Mr Tinley said the petition was not received well by the Minister for Transport, Hon. Dean Nalder.
“The Transport Minister doesn’t like it, he knows he’s caught, he knows the impact but he also knows the cost.”
“In an economic sense, this is a road to nowhere because it doesn’t actually serve a proper vision for the development of our inwards and outwards trade in container traffic,” he said.
“We’re hopeful that community action creates the buttress by which the Government finds it too difficult to do.”
Mr Tinley does not believe the State Government’s Roe Highway extension work for the $1.6 billion Perth Freight Link, to establish a freight connection to Fremantle Port from Kewdale, will solve the problem long term.
“Labor’s position on this is that we need a comprehensive vision for container traffic, or freight traffic, in an out of Western Australia. This is a band aid,” said Mr Tinley.
“They want to sign contracts in November and start construction immediately, that’s why we need to ramp up the local community.”
State Government plans include extending Roe Highway from the existing Kwinana Freeway and Roe Highway interchange in Jandakot west for 5km ending at Stock Road where it intersects with Forrest Road in Coolbellup.
“I am opposed to it firstly because it is a significant destruction of the last remaining urban wetlands, the Beeliar Wetlands, and secondly it’s a road to nowhere.”
“Despite the fact they are going to spend 1.6 billion on a black scar, it will drive a wedge through all of my communities all the way to Canning Highway and the Stirling Bridge and will stop dead.”
Bibra Lake resident, Ronald Larkin, said he is concerned about the impact the extension will have on the wetlands and accessibility to Farrington Road from Bibra Drive.
“I would certainly prefer it not to go ahead because there’s too much damage happening to the wetlands and in recent newspaper reports there are a couple of Ministers questioning whether it’s going to do as good a job as everyone was hoping,” said Mr Larkin.
“I would personally be happier, if it was to go ahead through the wetlands, if it was built up off ground level and the wetlands were left as they are. I think there’s already plans to do that.”
Transport Minister Dean Nalder has been contacted for comment.
Map courtesy of South Metro Connect.