Feb 27, 2017

It’s official – Perth Freight Link does not go to the Fremantle Port

A senior Commonwealth bureaucrat has confirmed no planning has been conducted about how the proposed Perth Freight Link would deliver on its stated purpose of taking traffic to the Fremantle Port.

Despite both the State and Federal Governments committing billions of dollars in funding for this dud project, current plans have the proposed toll road stopping 3km before the port.

At a Senate Budget Estimates committee hearing in Canberra this morning Department of Infrastrucutre and Regional Development official Roland Pittar confirmed his department had seen no proposal concerning how this 3km gap would be bridged via Stage III of the project.

The admission highlights the absence of serious planning for the Perth Freight Link, which the Federal Government announced out of the blue in its 2014 Budget.

At the time, even the Barnett Government was unable to produce any plan worthy of public scrutiny.

After taking office in 2013, the Federal Coalition scrapped $500 million allocated for public transport projects in Perth. Labor would support the Perth METRONET rail project, which would reduce the traffic congestion that is eroding the quality of life of Perth residents and acting as a hand brake on productivity and jobs growth in WA.

Australia needs increased infrastructure investment to boost economic activity and lift economic productivity.

But responsible infrastructure investment requires careful planning, with decisions made on the basis of demonstrated economic benefit.

Making it up as you go along is not good enough.