Residents anxious as freight link threatens homes

Residents anxious as freight link threatens homes


Tasha Leov, Staff reporter

Palmyra residents in South Perth are anxious after receiving letters cautioning them that demolition of their homes could be imminent because of a planned toll roadway, Perth Freight Link.

Main Roads notified residents of Palmyra that when the time comes inhabitants will not have a choice and will need to move so their houses can be demolished.

State opposition leader Mark McGowan believes the government has gone a step too far if homes are under threat.

“Perth Freight Link just doesn’t add up. When governments start forcibly knocking over people’s homes to build more roads, something has gone terribly wrong,” he said on his Facebook page.

Last May the freight link was announced as a part of budget plans, scheduled to run from the Kwinana Freeway joining to Roe and Stirling Highways.

The $1.6 million link is due to start construction early next year but residents are having none of it.

Those affected have created an online presence with ‘Rethink the Link’, a Facebook page and website dedicated to gaining publicity and awareness.

“It (the freight link) carves through significant wetlands and inner suburban communities and there has been no consultation or consideration of these communities and the long term health impacts,” the group’s Facebook page states.

Nearly 1,000 people like the page and residents are leaving comments with their thoughts.

“The government needs to look and build for the future, and not just for tomorrow and for votes. Instead of building a tolled highway they need to build the outer harbor to cope with the ships, and revamp Freo as a lively harbor for cruise ships. 
I will not sit by and let them take my home,” one user commented.

The freight link will cut through several suburbs, including Palmyra, as well as the Beeliar wetlands.

As well as leaving locals without a home the project is also being blasted for being uneconomical and environmentally damaging.

Curtin University researchers released a report detailing what was good and what was bad about the link.

“It (the PFL) remains deeply controversial as this is among the last of wetlands in the south Metropolitan region and remains an important ecological ‘stepping stone’ for many rare species,” the report stated.

The report goes on to say the toll road is a good idea that has been implemented the wrong way.

“It is a waste of public money that does not enable the productivity improvements to the freight industry that would have flowed from the Outer Harbour and it does not improve the productivity of people-intensive urban economic activity in Perth’s second major activity centre: the City of Fremantle.”

To read the report click here, to see the Main Roads PFL project page click here.