The Premier & The Professor Talk The Perth Freight Link

Congratulations to Gerry MacGill and the NFCA for a well organised community meeting where Premier Colin Barnett and Professor Peter Newman spoke on the Perth Freight Link (PFL), then engaged in an extensive question and answers session.

The Premier was emphatic that Roe 8 will go ahead, stating it had been subject to more consultation than any other section of road in WA.  However the rest of the PFL was far from certain, both in location and implementation.  He said that any new outer harbour was at least 10 years away, but would not commit his Government to making a start on that 10 year journey.

Professor Newman started out without the promised data projector, so took some time to warm to his subject.  He agreed with the Premier regarding the predicted increase in container trade and the need to address the land-side freight transport challenge; but sees the PFL going to Fremantle as a waste of money and community amenity, money which should be directed to starting the outer harbour.  He finished on the comment that Perth needs a Perth Freight Link – NOT to Fremantle Port – to inter-modal hubs.

There was a broad church of questions, from Councillors, former Councillors, State Politicians, former Politicians, celebrities and residents and most if not all voiced NO support for Roe 8 and the PFL.  In response to the Premier’s stated commitment to Roe 8, Kate Kelly informed the Premier that they (Save Beelier Wetlands) would see him in court before he would get Roe 8 through.  The City of Kwinana’s new Indian Ocean Gateway document received a fair bit of attention and general support.  The last question came from former Premier Carmen Lawrence, who asked that if the PFL was such a good idea why is the cost benefit analysis not available for public scrutiny?  Such a crucial question, given Infrastructure Australia have not been able to asses this proposal.

Lets Rethink The Link!


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4 Responses to The Premier & The Professor Talk The Perth Freight Link

  1. Diana Ryan says:

    You didn’t tell us what the answer to the last question of the night was, Jon – that of Carmen Lawrence?

    Also, did Prof Newman offer comment in any way on Infrastructure Australia having given the PFL an “[at the] threshold” rating as it has done? Did he offer comment, or respond to any Qs about this from the audience, indeed was it raised at any time? (I’m not looking for wider commentary on IA and what material it did or didn’t receive, just querying if IA’s role thus far was covered).


    • jonstrachan says:

      Of course he did not answer the question Diana! He did say the thought the cost benefit ratio was around 2.4 which was excellent for such a proposal. Alanah McTiernan has tried to get similar openness from the Federal Government with little or no success. This is the nub of the matter. We have a Federal Captain’s call to spend about $2 billion taxpayers money on a proposal that went through no formal assessment.

  2. Diana Ryan says:

    Come on, Jon – did any mention or discussion of IA’s “thresh hold” rating or commentary over PFL occur…. given there was a former member of IA there, in the form of Peter Newman? Odd if no mention of it occurred at all….

  3. jonstrachan says:

    Of course PN observed that as a former member of IA he was surprised their skills were not called upon.

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