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SENATE INQUIRY REPORT
The report originally due on 29 April has now been extended until Tuesday 3rd May and will be available from here when released.
Senator Scott Ludlam who initiated the Senate Inquiry has stated that the report clearly vindicated the grassroots effort in which 30 disparate organisations united to scrap the disastrous project.
“This report buries the case for the Perth Freight Link once and for all. It is clear now why the Barnett Government has been so desperate to hide the business case and the assumptions that went into the cost-benefit analysis,” he said.
“This project is desperately flawed and unworkable, and is now turning into such an electoral liability that even the Coalition Senators who participated were unwilling to defend it.”
See Senator Ludlam’s full media release here.
This is the same day as the Federal Budget is announced and we expect that $2billion tax dollars will still be allocated to this misguided project in the federal and state budgets while these governments continue to refuse to release any underlying data on the business case.
This week with the close of the old Fremantle bridge we saw the type of congestion leading up to Stirling Bridge we can look forward to if the Freight Link goes ahead with no plans in place for getting traffic over the last miles across the river. Surely if this state government were serious they would start with the crossing planning and work back from there!
SENATE INQUIRY REPORT
The Senate Inquiry into the Perth Freight Link held a second hearing on 23 March to gather further evidence. Captains of industry giving evidence called on the WA government to get on and build the Outer Harbour now!
Leading businesses including BP and Wesfarmers, the Kwinana Industry Council, City of Kwinana, the Sustainable Transport Coalition, WA Farmers Federation and others gave evidence. All called for the reallocation of taxpayers funds to build the Outer Harbour with none in favour of the Perth Freight Link.
POSTPONED – 3 May 2016 – PORT SOLUTIONS FORUM – Victoria Hall Fremantle 7-9pm
Due to the clash with the federal budget this forum has now been postponed. City of Fremantle will announce a new date shortly.
There is a clear alternative to building the Perth Freight Link. This forum will hear from Mayors of Fremantle and Kwinana as well as the WA Farmers Federation and the Kwinana Industry Council on solutions for the freight task.
RTL Flyer from Fremantle Chamber of Commerce talk by Transport Minister 2016-03-18 Perth Freight Link
PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO PEACEFULLY PROTEST
Hundreds of people met at Parliament House on the 23 Feb to protest the draconian law that this govt is trying to bring in. One of the govt aims is to stop non-violent direct action to protect the Beeliar wetlands even though the United Nations has slammed these proposed laws. More details on the Facebook page.
See our discussion on the Health Impacts of the PFL.
Trucks may pay a Toll but there are more costs than that involved – your mental and physical health will be at stake and should be accounted for within any business case.
On 16 December 2015, Supreme Court Chief Justice Wayne Martin declared that the EPA’s assessment of the Roe 8 project (Perth Freight Link Stage 1) was invalid and that the Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s decision based on that flawed assessment to approve the project was also invalid. Government left scrambling after judge stops Roe 8 extension
25-11-15 Professor Phil Jennings – The Perth Freight Link: Facts and Fiction
Philip Jennings is well respected as the Emeritus Professor of Physics and Energy Studies at Murdoch University and the President of the Wetlands Conservation Society.
BIBRA LAKE RALLY – 3,500 BEELIAR WETLANDS PROTECTORS
Rethink The Link Campaign Team
We love our kids being able to walk to school, play with their mates in the street and enjoy a picnic in the park. We love to walk or ride around Bibra Lake listening to the birdsong and discovering the beauty of a misty sunrise over the lakes, a bandicoot scooting under a banksia, Carnaby cockatoos flying overhead and the wildflowers popping up in spring.
Our community is not prepared to lose this to an unnecessary freeway when there are good sustainable transport alternatives, including using existing railway lines for freight and Tonkin Highway to a new Kwinana Outer Harbour.
Stand with us by pledging your support to do all in your power to keep our community together and the remaining wetlands and bushland intact.
Watch 15 year old Caedon Kloosterman’s wonderful animated explanation of the problems and solutions for Perth Freight Link – Say no to Roe 8! – and this one where Professor Peter Newman explains why building this road is so wrong – The Freight Link Mess.
Links to further information and actions:
- Share our list of RTL – 10 Things you can do to help
- Donate to support the campaign
- Get a sign for your fence
- Join the Team
- Come to our events
- Understanding the Perth Freight Link(PFL) & the Alternative solution
- Stories about the PFL – check them out in our Media Reports
- Other Stuff – FAQs, reports, issues, …
- Contact Us
Rethink The Link is a member of the RPFL alliance of community groups and other organisations who oppose the Perth Freight Link project and any destruction of the Beeliar wetlands and who promote alternative sustainable transport solutions.
Our goal is to convince the State and Federal governments to rethink their commitment to the Perth Freight Link in its current form and consider alternative sustainable transport solutions.
Contact the Alliance – firstname.lastname@example.org
– What we want
– What we don’t want
– Where the councils stand
– Why the Perth Freight Link needs a Rethink
– There is a better plan
WHAT WE WANT
We want well-planned, evidence-based, transparent, economically viable, environment-enhancing, society-building major infrastructure planning.
We have called on the state and federal governments:
- Stop the clock. No demolitions, no contracts.
Immediately suspend all work, including the demolition of homes, the awarding of contracts and the making of contractual commitments, on the Perth Freight Link project;
- Proper planning before acting – PFL and Port privatisation.
Undertake proper, rigorous and independent assessments of:
- the Perth Freight Link and viable alternative options to the Perth Freight Link including: – improving the efficiency of existing road infrastructure, – maximising freight on rail – situating container parks away from the Inner Harbour, to reduce empty running – development of the Outer Harbour at Kwinana; and
- the privatisation of the port of Fremantle, to the extent that it may facilitate or impact, or be facilitated or impacted by, the Perth Freight Link;
- Transparency. No secret deals at our expense.
Release publicly the full reports of those assessments together with the underlying data; and
- Maintain the status quo. Think and consult the public first.
- no further work, including the demolition of homes, the award of contracts or the making of contractual commitments, takes place on the Perth Freight Link project; and
- no contractual commitments are made in relation to the privatisation of the port of Fremantle,
until such time as the assessment reports and underlying data have been made publicly available and a thorough community consultation has taken place.
WHAT WE DON’T WANT
We don’t want major infrastructure planning on the run, based on “captain’s picks”, ignorant or outdated assumptions or, worse, planning based on manipulated data, for political purposes to satisfy vested interests (party donors). We don’t want secrecy under the cover of “commercial in confidence”, economic disasters, ad hoc planning that destroys the fabric of our city without reference to how the infrastructure will affect our physical environment or our social wellbeing.
We don’t want government making major infrastructure decisions as if it’s still 1955.
Professor Peter Newman, Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, addressed a City of Fremantle Community Forum on 11 July 2015:
WHERE THE LOCAL COUNCILS STAND
The City of Fremantle has adopted a position not to support the Perth Freight Link (PFL). It wants the PFL put on hold until further long-term freight planning and better options are developed. To assist the City council in forming its view, the City commissioned CUSP to provide two expert reports so that the City has an evidentiary basis for its decisions.
The City of Cockburn condemns the decision to run the PFL through the Beeliar Wetlands and wants to see the PFL go to the south toward the proposed Outer Harbour at Cockburn Sound. The alternative route would solve two sets of concerns:
- It would preserve the precious Beeliar Wetlands at the significant section between North and Bibra Lakes; and
- It would provide vital infrastructure to the industrial areas to the south, coastal and inland, which would be an economic bonus to the city, as well as other cities to the south.
The Town of East Fremantle (PDF pp.23 ff) has voted to reject the proposed PFL, to work with the City of Fremantle to urge the Government to rethink the current proposal, and to seek information on alternatives that provide a higher long term cost/benefit to freight movement to Fremantle Port.
The City of Melville has over some years supported the extension of Roe 8 and further stages of the highway, preferring that freight trucks don’t go through the City of Melville. Indeed, the City has taken to calling the PFL “the Melville Bypass”. On 17 August 2015, the council held a Special Electors Meeting to consider the PFL, a meeting forced upon it by a petition of Melville electors unhappy with the City’s stance. At that meeting, for the first time, Main Roads WA and the City of Melville provided a public opportunity for questions from residents and ratepayers and gave some answers. The City had previously produced a report which was adopted by the council. It recommended that council support the PFL Section 1 (Roe 8) and Section 2, Option 2 (Tunnel Option).
Whilst the importance of the Fremantle Inner Harbour is acknowledged, the City sees greater long term returns for the State in investment in the Outer Harbour Port and Intermodal Facility than continually retrofitting the Inner Harbour at great expense (eg. Perth Freight Link project).*
The Kwinana Industries Council supports the Indian Ocean Gateway proposal.
We believe if a decision is made immediately, the Outer Harbour will be loading containers within five years. (Chris Oughton, Director, KIC)
The Town of Mosman Park (PDF p. 88) has concerns about the impacts of the PFL and has resolved to ask its local member, Premier Colin Barnett, to advocate for cost benefits analysis of alternatives to the PFL.
WHY THE PERTH FREIGHT LINK NEEDS A RETHINK
NO FINANCIAL PRIORITIES
Despite the so-called budget emergency, with funds to many important services being slashed, Tony Abbott and Colin Barnett have committed $1.6 billion to build a freight freeway into Fremantle, including the Roe 8 extension from Kwinana Freeway through the Beeliar Wetlands at Bibra Lake.
NO BUSINESS CASE
Prior to committing state and federal funds, there was no cost-benefit analysis for the project, or scrutiny of the WA government’s claims that there is a 5:1 cost benefit for the new freight freeway – despite repeated requests for evidence.
NO PROJECT PLANS OR DETAILS
Abbott and Barnett have no idea about what they are actually funding, with no clue about how a freeway through Fremantle or the elevated road over the wetlands will actually work. They say it will reduce congestion, but modelling shows almost no difference in trucks on local roads.
NO COMMUNITY CONSULTATION
There has been no consultation about the project with the affected communities. Perhaps that is because the government doesn’t even have the right plans and drawings yet. Yet, the Department of Transport has already issued the first invitation to tender! Where are the traffic studies? Where are the noise and pollution studies?
NO COMMUNITY SUPPORT
West Australians do not want toll roads. There is huge community opposition to the Roe 8 part of this proposal, which generated the largest number of appeals to the EPA about a metro project in the state’s history.
NO ENVIRONMENTAL OR HERITAGE APPROVALS
Abbott and Barnett have bankrolled the project before the environmental impact assessments are even finalised. And you can bet they won’t factor in the environmental devastation when assessing the cost of the project.
THERE IS A BETTER FREIGHT SOLUTION
MAXIMISE RAIL TO THE INNER HARBOUR AT FREO
In 2013, before Tony Abbott’s decision to fund roads and not rail, former Transport Minister Troy Buswell said, “By reducing reliance on road transport, rail services also contribute significantly to trade growth capacity by improving supply chain efficiency through reducing truck congestion at the port.” Rail container freight is still only about 14%, nowhere near the state government’s goal of 30%.
PROVIDE A PROPER BUSINESS CASE
The business case and cost benefit analysis for the Perth Freight Link were written after Tony Abbott’s “Captain’s Call” to fund the Perth Freight Link. What are the chances it compares the costs and benefits of the other options, such as rail and roads to the outer harbour at Kwinana? Is that why Abbott and Barnett still won’t release the business case for the Perth Freight Link?
REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTION
Rail takes trucks off roads. WA Governor, Kerry Sanderson, said: “One 600m double stacked train equals about 80 to 100 trucks.”
Former Minister Buswell again: “Increased use of rail for transporting container freight and with more trucks picking up empty containers from Forrestfield rather than at Fremantle, there are an estimated 100,000 fewer truck movements annually on roads linking with the port.”
REDUCES DANGEROUS POLLUTION
The World Health Organisation says diesel fuel particulates cause lung cancer (2013). Rail uses one quarter the diesel fuel of trucks. Families living along this truck freeway will be heavily affected.
SAFER THAN ROADS
Average annual number of deaths on WA roads 2001 to 2009: 188
Average annual number of deaths on WA rail 2001 to 2009: 2
Source: BITRE Infrastructure Statistics Year Book 2011, savegrainonrail.com.au