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Court ruling should be final nail in freight link coffin



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THE HON ALANNAH MACTIERNAN MP SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR REGIONAL

DEVELOPMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE MEMBER FOR PERTH

COURT RULING SHOULD BE FINAL NAIL IN FREIGHT LINK COFFIN

Malcolm Turnbull must ditch his commitment to the $1.76 billion Perth Freight Link in light of today’s Supreme Court ruling and put the $925 million of Federal money into the ready-to-go rail projects Perth needs.

If further evidence was needed of the chaos and lack of planning surrounding the Turnbull-Barnett Perth Freight Link, the WA Supreme Court ruling that the state environmental approval for stage one of the project is invalid delivers it in spades.

Now Western Australia faces another long delay in receiving further Federal infrastructure dollars, with the approvals process sent back to the drawing board and no money set to flow until a milestone has been reached - surely no more than a distant dream at this point.

This at a time when the state’s economy continues to flounder under Mr Barnett’s fiscal mismanagement and the lack of vision for a post-mining boom WA from the Abbott-Turnbull Government.

We’ve known for more than a decade that Roe Highway Stage 8 - the first part of the $1.76 billion Perth Freight Link - would cause irreparable damage to the Beeliar Wetlands.

The 2003 Environmental Protection Authority report into the proposed road found any construction through the wetlands “would be extremely difficult to be made environmentally acceptable”, “would lead to the ecological values of the area as a whole being diminished in the long-term” and “every effort should be made to avoid this”.

Labor then removed the proposed road from the metropolitan freight network.

But still, the Abbott-Turnbull and Barnett Governments have pushed ahead with the politically-driven project, botching it at every turn.

It’s time Mr Turnbull washed his hands of this flawed project and put the money back where it is needed.

WEDNESDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: MARK SCOTT 0413 381 060