Roe 8 and its (better) alternatives
November 24, 2015 10 Comments
The Roe 8 issue came to a head today as Main Road’s drillers flanked by police were confronted by protesters near Bibra Lake today.
The argument put by supporters of this project including the State Government is that Roe 8 is needed regardless of whether the inner harbour is ramped up via the PFL or the outer harbour is built sooner. I don’t find this argument convincing for a couple of reasons:
One, Roe 8 will, due to the extraordinary measures it is required to take to lessen environmental impacts, be an extremely expensive bit of road. It will cost an estimated $400-500 million dollars in total. That is $100 million per kilometre or $1million for every 10 metres of road. It is just NOT good value for money. This money could likely fund the extension of Tonkin Hwy to the freeway AND upgrades of from the freeway Anketell or Rowley Road ALL the way to the outer harbour. This is because Anketell and Rowley Roads do not need to go over important wetlands.
I recently drove both of Anketell and Rowley Roads to get a first-hand view of how they could be upgraded for freight transport and I was convinced they could be with both minimal ecological damage and community impact.
Two, Roe 8 should be canned not only because it is expensive and wasteful of taxpayers dollars – it should also not happen because it is wrong to put a road through an ecologically important wetland when there are workable alternatives.
Three and finally, we can only have certainty that we will not get a freight freeway carving up White Gum Valley, Fremantle, North Fremantle and other suburbs if Roe 8 doesn’t get built.
Roe 8 is going to be a major issue over the next few months. Fremantle Council has opposed this road for well over a decade and our opposition will continue.