Mar 8, 2017

Coalition finally recognises flaw in freight link to nowhere

Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher has finally acknowledged the critical design flaw in the Coalition’s Perth Freight Link – that it will not actually take traffic to the Port of Fremantle.

In an interview with Sky News yesterday Mr Fletcher insisted the toll road was “very much a link to the port’’ but conceded that on its current design, it would stop 3km short.

Mr Fletcher said: “At some point in the future, certainly, it’s very likely that you would address that remaining gap,’’ Mr Fletcher said.

Mr Fletcher’s comments highlight the deplorable lack of planning that has gone into the Perth Freight Link, which the Federal Coalition funded in its disastrous 2014 Budget despite having no evidence that it represented wise investment of public money.

It is to Mr Fletcher’s credit that he is at least prepared to recognise the truth about this flawed project, unlike Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester, who were not even aware the road would not go to the port when they were asked about the issue in Parliament last month.

The Perth Freight Link is a dud. It is also damaging the environment, with a Senate committee this week calling for work to be halted after it heard of repeated and serious breaches of environmental guidelines in construction of the Roe 8 section.