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Monday, 29 November 2004
Page: 136

Dr JENSEN (9:05 PM) —I refer to comments made by the member for Fremantle as published in the Melville City Herald on Saturday, 27 November. I particularly refer to the comments made by the member that Melville City Council's decision to spend $300,000 on an advertising campaign to criticise the state Labor government for not fulfilling its end of the bargain in regard to building stage 8 of the Roe Highway and therefore linking the highway to the port of Fremantle, Western Australia's main commercial port, is a waste of taxpayers' money. I also refer to the member's comments that she has received only one email on the topic of the Roe Highway extension and the Fremantle Eastern Bypass and, unsurprisingly, it was in support of state Labor's position. If the member wishes to criticise anyone for wasting taxpayers' money, she should point her finger at her state colleagues: Premier Gallop and the minister for transport, Alannah MacTiernan.

I remind the member for Fremantle of an election promise from her state Labor colleagues to build the Roe Highway to stage 8. This would extend the Kwinana Freeway in Leeming to the end of the proposed Fremantle Eastern Bypass in Beaconsfield. It would provide a safe and efficient regional road link between the western suburbs of Perth and destinations to the east. Primarily, it would ensure there was a designated heavy haulage route for the container loaded road trains travelling to Fremantle Port. Such commercial traffic would enjoy greater productivity as there would be no lights along the proposed highway, unlike the 27 sets of lights road trains are forced to negotiate while passing along their current route of Leach Highway. Leach Highway passes through the middle of many residences, schools, the largest netball centre in the southern suburbs, a public golf course and many other community amenities whose patrons all have to suffer the constant flow of heavy haulage commercial traffic.

I have received insurmountable support from constituents and community groups who are concerned for their children, for their elderly and for their community if the volume of traffic is allowed to continue and Labor fails to deliver on its original promise to the electorate. However, the promises of the state Labor government will not be fulfilled. They will not be fulfilled, because state Labor cabinet is rezoning the land on which stage 8 was to be built—land that has been set aside for more than 30 years to be used for this very purpose. The state government squandered the good faith of this government and the good faith of taxpayers in my electorate. I remind the member for Fremantle that $15 million and a projected $26.32 million were allocated on the promise that state Labor would drop plans to rezone land designated for stage 8. The federal government was very clear that the missing link—the linking of the highway to Fremantle Port—must be completed.

The member for Fremantle commented that Perth has the second highest kilometres of road per person in the world, with the inevitable consequences, according to her, for air pollution and noise. I inform the member for Fremantle that Perth is not a thriving metropolis with a high population density. Furthermore, I inform the member that it is not the amount of roads but the type of roads and their ability to carry traffic that should be analysed. Perhaps the member for Fremantle could explain to the House why she believes the Melville City Council—the local council that administers many of the suburbs where parents find that their children cannot cross a road due to the continuous passing of container loaded road trains—is wasting taxpayers' money. At the same time, perhaps the member for Fremantle could explain what her state Labor colleagues have wasted some of that $76 million of taxpayers' money on. It certainly was not used to build stage 8 of the Roe Highway or the Fremantle eastern bypass.