A Shorten Labor Government will commit $115 million to deliver a new traffic and rail bridge at Fremantle in partnership with the WA McGowan Government.
This much-needed piece of major infrastructure will deliver a 21st Century traffic bridge and duplicate the existing rail capacity, removing the current conflict between passenger and freight rail.
The need for a new river crossing to replace the 80-year-old wooden Fremantle Traffic Bridge is well-established. Indeed, the project was initially funded by the Labor Carpenter/Gallop Government but abandoned by the Liberal Barnett Government in 2008.
Under the former Federal Labor government, the National Ports Strategy emphasised the importance of prioritising transport infrastructure that serves our ports. That focus has been lost under the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government, which has failed to support key infrastructure and neglected to address the crisis in Australian shipping.
In identifying the replacement of the Fremantle Traffic Bridge as a priority, Infrastructure Australia reported the existing crossing has reached the end of its useable life and was at risk of closure.
It’s critical that the design and planning process ensures the new bridge meets the needs of the community – primarily, providing a safe and modern crossing for vehicle traffic.
The increase in rail capacity will allow further progress in expanding freight-on-rail during the day. This will be good for the environment, will reduce congestion and truck freight, and means there will be less pressure on scheduling freight trains during the night.