Chalk and Cheese over Perth Freight Link

What a well-run meeting by the North Fremantle Community great job by Gerry MacGill, a nice civil community Q&A. Well done to the crowd that attended too.

But Whoa what a difference a couple of weeks makes. I went to the Victoria Hall meeting with Peter Newman as the headline name for the night, all on the Perth Freight Link (PFL). Last night I went to the Nth Fremantle community meeting on the PFL impact especially focused on Nth Freo. Here Peter Newman was again a headline draw card with the Premier Colin Barnett giving the governments opinion, as the local member. But the sting was really not in his presentation in Nth Freo as it was in Victoria Hall. Side note at vic hall when the council wants a crowd they put one buffet, no need at Nth Freo.

Great to see the Premier make time to speak to his electorate.

What surprised me was the whole CUSP report was all front and centre at Victoria Hall, the Mayor sprouting its contents and not surprising as it cost the rate payers $20,000. At Nth Freo it barely rated a mention, Peter Newman spent as much time talking about his new book as he did the CUSP report that our council dropped $20 k on.

In fact I think the City of Kwinana’s new Indian Ocean Gateway document got more attention than the CUSP report, that Fremantle council paid $20,000 for. Good to see at least one council driving for investment, jobs, infrastructure and developments in the city, well done Kniwana.

So I wonder what we the rate payer paid for in the CUSP report as I expected  Prof Newman would be using it to give the Premier both barrels, instead they spent the most of the night agreeing with each other. Peter Newman put forward of course the inter-nodal issue which I believe various governments have been talking about for years with Lat 32.

Peter Newman could not even definitely say the Roe 8 was not needed for the outer harbour system as it’s in the plans for the Lat 32.

His point was the Roe 8 went to the wrong port, which sounds like an endorsement for the Roe 8 to be built. Yet he no solution for Fremantle’s coming years of traffic issues as the current ports needs to operate for at least the next 20-30 years till it gets to the cap and transition that Peter and Colin agreed on. Quite a surprise from the Victoria Hall presentation? It was agreed by both speakers that Fremantle’s Port could double in container volume over the next 10 years to about 1.4 million containers, yet Peter Newman had no solution for how to handle the increase of containers Fremantle will have until the Outer Harbour is finally operational.

So one question that needs answering is that if PFL is not built, what is the container solution for Fremantle as even Peter Newman believes the maximum achievable container on rail will be just over 30%. Leaving 70% of container movements to go by truck.

Good to see someone bring up the emission control regulations from Euro 5&6 for diesel engines and Peter Newman admitted that truck emissions dropped drastically over the years with new technology and believed that trucks would go to gas over the coming years removing the diesel emission issue.  California is also moving into trucks running on Hydrogen also cutting out truck emissions as an issue. We could also bring in the 80/20 diesel blends which would have an immediate reduction on emissions.

Strangely the Mayor was very quiet at the meeting not even a question?

It was also interesting to see the 2 speakers agree that WA was the best performer for freight on rail and they both agreed, even if the Outer Harbour is built without massive investment in the inter-nodal systems the rail volume would still not increase much past 30% which is the current target of the Inner Harbour.

It was good to see the Premier so clearly state the Roe 9 part is still under evaluation and needs lots of work before the final route is chosen. While good that the decision will get public debate, sucks for those who live on the proposed routes as they will be left hanging in limbo till a decision is made.

I think the argument that the Roe 8 will bring more trucks to Fremantle is done, it’s only more containers that will bring more trucks to fremantle, which will still come whether PFL is built or not.  Something needs to be built to handle the next decades of increasing trucks to the Port and the ever increasing smaller vehicles on the road around Fremantle.

Our council has blindly followed the Barnett governments in fill plan while not getting any infrastructure to handle the increased density, population and the cars they bring. Last night the Premier said about 90% of houses have 1 car and over 50% have two. I think those figures are from a census some time back as I drive around my suburb the number of cars in front of one house is more than that. Just think our Mayor Brad has 2 cars himself.

Time for council to stand up for our amenity and tell the government no more infill or density increases till we start to see the necessary infrastructure to deal with it, PT or better roads I don’t mind which I just want to see some guarantees of delivery. Of course that also means when the government tries to put some in place it helps for the council not to say no.

So I go back to my “Thinking Allowed OPEN MINDS” where I called for public debate on this issue. If the 2nd leg of PFL Roe 9 goes ahead, now is the time for people to say what we need from this road/tunnel, to make our suburbs more livable,  as truck free and safe as we can make it.

 

 

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One comment

  1. Benjamin says:

    Great point about the infill strategy link to better infrastructure.

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