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Monday, 12 October 2015
Page: 7324

Senator LUDLAM (Western AustraliaCo-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (16:01): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes

(i) that a Supreme Court action was lodged on Thursday, 10 September 2015, against the approval given by the Western Australian Minister for Environment (Mr Jacob) to the Roe 8 extension Stage 1 of the Perth Freight Link, and includes significant new revelations of bias and conflict of interest on the Environment Protection Authority board, potentially tainting the entire assessment process,

(ii) the opposition to this project by over 30 separate residents' and community groups, at least 3 local councils, and almost 15 000 individuals via petitions since 2008,

(iii) the well documented flaws in the federal environmental assessment process, including flawed surveys of the iconic Black Cockatoo, and

(iv) the failure of the Government to release key documents to inform public evaluation of this project; and

(b) calls on the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development:

(i) to reprioritise $925 million in federal funding allocated to this project to actual solutions to Perth's freight task, including investment in freight rail and the Outer Harbour, and

(ii) to urgently request That the federal assessment be delayed until such time as the judicial review in the Supreme Court has been completed.

I seek leave, without debating the issue, to make a brief statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave has been granted for one minute.

Senator LUDLAM: I thank the Senate. Under the chairmanship of Senator Sterle and with quite good representation of Western Australian senators and others, earlier last week the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee sat in Perth and heard evidence from one very strong side of the argument that the Perth Freight Link should simply not be funded. The state government was given an opportunity to put their side of the case and they refused to show up. What the inquiry has established once and for all is that the Perth Freight Link should be set aside, and that there are strong counter proposals for how to deal with growing freight movements in the Perth metropolitan area.

This motion does nothing more than call on the minister to reprioritise the funding that former Prime Minister Abbott put into this project, sight unseen and without the state government even knowing where the project should go, and put that funding into actual solutions to Perth's freight task. I thank the Senate for giving it consideration.