Yesterday’s announcement that the State and Federal Governments intend to spend $1.575 BILLION dollars on a truck freeway from the Roe Highway to Stirling Highway in Fremantle is the most depressing news I’ve heard all year. It’s depressing because it’s based on false logic, traffic engineers globally acknowledge you cannot build your way out of congestion. It’s depressing because all it will do is shift the bottleneck to North Fremantle, hence solving nothing. It’s depressing because that money should be spent on a high quality Freight Rail connection between Fremantle Port and freight terminals at Kewdale and Forestfield. It’s depressing because while the Abbott Government is throwing money at the truck lobby he is simultaneously ripping money out of social services, climate research, foreign aid, universities, CSIRO and god knows what else.
Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. Well that’s exactly what these guys are trying to do. Using thousands of trucks to move thousands of containers per annum created the congestion in the first pace, now they want to double that number of containers on double the number of trucks by throwing money at it. What sort of warped solution is that? What is needed is a new paradigm, that new paradigm is rail, new rail.
Why is Mr Abbott so hell bent on building roads, he just lost the Victorian election for the Liberals by trying to foist a huge road on Melbournians. They rejected him at the ballot box, so he has brought his mega road here, and believe me we do not want it either! We want a cleaver, logical solution to freight transport. Bring on our State Election and let Western Australians send the same message as the Victorians did.
My heart goes out to community groups like Save Beeliar Wetlands and Road to Rail (R2R), they have just had a huge king hit. As container movements from the port escalate over 1 million Fremantle will be come hostage to a truck freeway don’t dare cross it and there will be no way round it. Still the truckies hope they can save up to 9 minutes on a trip from Kewdale to Fremantle so it must be worth it!