Freo's View

THE REALITY OF PERTH FREIGHT LINK

Posted in perth freight link, fremantle, port, fremantle,, Uncategorized by freoview on December 2, 2015

There is a heated debate going on here on Freo’s View between people who support the Perth Freight Link and those who don’t. It is good and important that the Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt is one of them and I find it disappointing that he gets slammed for being political, so I would like to go back to a few basic facts about it all.

The latest Factbase published yesterday by the Committee for Perth, with participation from the universities of Notre Dame and Western Australia, states very clearly that “One of the most critical industries for Fremantle remains its Port.” We also read today that the State Government is spending nearly $ 23 million on advisers for the ‘sale’ of Fremantle and Port Hedland ports, so there is little doubt that a private operator will be in charge of Fremantle Ports in the near future and they won’t be paying a billion dollars or so for a port that would stop operating in 15 years time.

An outer harbour port is necessary and will be built but will be an overflow port for decades to come and that means traffic to Fremantle Port will increase and has to be dealt with as the current status quo is unacceptable.

The present rail freight line along the coast and the old railway bridge can’t handle double-stacked container trains and even if that was possible it would unlikely be more than 25-30% of the entire freight to port, which means 75 per cent of freight will still come by road and on trucks. I hate the idea of it but that is the reality we will have to work with and find solutions for.

The planned PFL and Roe 8 will do damage to the Beeliar Wetlands but a new highway to a new outer harbour would also impact on other wetlands, and building the outer harbour would have a significant environmental impact on Cockburn Sound.

The suggested tunnel from Roe 8 to Stirling Highway sound like the best of bad options, but it ends at Stirling Highway and that is not acceptable as it would make an utter traffic mess in that part of Fremantle, East Fremantle and North Fremantle.

Duplicating Stirling Bridge is a very ugly option that would only create the destruction of North Fremantle and a bypass over North Fremantle straight into the Port would be similarly ugly and would affect those who have invested millions in real estate  there as no one would like to live under the thunder of trucks.

Is a tunnel under the river a viable option? Some ‘experts’ say it is but others say it can’t work because the incline would be too steep for trucks.

No doubt Mainroads and experts are looking at all the alternatives and all the options below and above ground, but whatever the State Government decides on will be done under pressure from Canberra where ministers have clearly stated that they will not be happy with anything less than the entire Perth Freight Link to Femantle Ports.

Dreaming that Fremantle Port will close soon is totally unrealistic and so is the dream that the outer harbour will replace the inner harbour in the foreseeable future. It is not going to happen, so forget it.

I am against the Perth Freight Link because at present it is a road to nowhere, unless a solution can be found to extend it into the port without destroying North and East Freo, and I am against it because of the damage it will do to the Beeliar Wetlands, but so far I have read a lot of hype, hot air, dreams and ‘solutions’ that don’t seem practical even to a layman like me, so why not leave it to the experts and see what they will come up with.

The better outcome would be trying to double freight on rail as fast as possible and keep the PFL underground all the way into the Port, and then prioritise the building of the outer harbour, but all that will unfortunately take a very long time while truck traffic to Fremantle Port will keep increasing.

Roel Loopers

 

RETHINK THE LINK WINS FREO FESTIVAL PARADE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle festival, perth freight link, photography by freoview on November 1, 2015

Photos COPYRIGHT Roel Loopers but free to use for community groups.

I have photographed the Fremantle Festival parade for some 25 years now, but today’s one was the best one I can remember. It was a huge one with a lot of community participation but the stand out one was the huge protest against the Perth Freight Link.

In my estimation it was as big as the Save Ningaloo campaign, so well done to all those committed community groups. It was truly heart warming and one of the reasons I love living in Fremantle.

More photos of the parade here tomorrow.

Roel Loopers

CARBON EMISSION SHOULD BE PART OF FREIGHT LINK DEBATE

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, perth freight link by freoview on June 24, 2015

fremantle port

There are optimists who believe Fremantle and the other affected southern suburbs can win the fight against the proposed Perth Freight Link, but I believe we should not just concentrate on that. As regular comment writer on this blog Diana Ryan suggested to me we should also push our State Government to set Carbon Emission Standards for trucks, as other port cities in Australia are doing. It is also big on the agenda of US President Obama to reduce residue from trucks and make them more fuel efficient.

There are so many opinions on the PFL and if it will be road or tunnel or both, and if it will be for trucks only or for general traffic as well, that it is quite confusing, even more so because some people want to get political mileage from it while others push their ideology.

For me the City of Fremantle commissioned $ 20,000 report on the PFL was a bit disappointing as I read it that the authors want freight to go on rail and hence found reasons why the PFL can’t work. I would have preferred a report by engineers pointing out alternative solutions instead of an ideology driven one.

Tell the people along the western corridor of Fremantle that we should drastically increase container transport to Fremantle Port by rail and double stack and they tell you to stick the idea somewhere, because they like the noise and inconvenience as much as those in the east of the city like the noise and fumes of trucks.

Even if we achieved to get 30 per cent of container transport on rail we would still have to cope with and find solutions for the 70 per cent that will continue to come on trucks by road. Setting carbon emission standards and reducing pollution would be a start. We then have to start pushing our state and federal governments to stop the idiocy of spending billions on roads when freight rail and public transport needs to be prioritised. Didn’t Bill Shorten announce yesterday that Labor have colluded with the Abbot governments so that many many billions of dollars can be spend on country roads? What about spending a lot of that money on rail instead, so that products from the country to the cities don’t have to go on trucks and roads!

Yesterday a truck full of grain flipped on its side in suburban Perth and that shows we are increasing the likelihood of road carnage with more and more trucks on their way to and from the port. Common sense needs to prevail and that is more likely to happen if we don’t politicise the issue and not make it an anti Liberal, anti Barnett, and anti Abbott campaign.

Will Labor’s Mark McCowan scrap the Perth Freight Link and the sale of Fremantle Port should he win the next election?

Roel Loopers

WHY WASTE MONEY ON A LOST CAUSE FREMANTLE CITY?

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports by freoview on May 11, 2015

The following motion by Councillor Jon Strachan will be considered on Wednesday evening by the City of Fremantle Special Projects Committee and I wonder if it is worth the effort and $ 100,000.00

NOTICE OF MOTION

1. This Council does not support a road based response to significantly increased container trade at Fremantle Ports, and as such does not support construction of the proposed Perth Freight Link.

2. This Council believes the significant State Budget allocation to the PFL should be directed towards a rail based solution for container distribution related to Fremantle Ports.

3. This position is conveyed to the State Government, South West Group and other key stakeholders. 4. Council considers a budget amount of $100,000 to assist Officers develop alternative options for Port Related Freight as per point 3 of Council Item SPC 1502-2.

Like most people in Fremantle I am absolutely against the Perth Freight Link truck toll road and the invasion of the wetlands at North and Bibra lakes, and I am all for shifting more container freight from road to rail and for better solutions than creating a huge bottleneck and traffic congestion in North Fremantle.

The sad reality though is that the Perth Freight Link has been supported by the Abbott federal government, which last week announced an increase in funding for the project, to offset the unbalanced GST distribution among the states. The W.A. State Government has also announced the three companies short listed to build the freight road to Fremantle Port, so what purpose would an expensive review by Fremantle City have when the Freight Link is very much a done deal and completely funded by the State and Federal governments?

I believe the $ 100,000 could be better spend elsewhere where it can make a difference rather than peeing it up a wall and grasping at straws, and denying the very disappointing reality that Fremantle Council will not be able to stop the Freight Link and that State and Federal governments will not consider alternative proposals.

No matter how much most of us in the Fremantle community hate it, the Freight Link project is a done deal that won’t be stopped. It is a huge waste of money that should have been spent on rail and an overflow container terminal in Cockburn Sound, but the Barnett and Abbott governments won’t consider it.

Fremantle Council can’t win this battle, so spending $ 100,000 on looking for better solutions would be wasting money and resources.

Roel Loopers

ROAD2RAIL FORUM TO DISCUSS FREO PORT OPTIONS

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, photography, road2rail by freoview on April 11, 2015

Sunset and sunrise are the best times to get great photos of Fremantle port, as last night and this morning proved yet again. The working port is a fantastic attraction to visitors and locals alike, but the way containers come and leave the port needs to be addressed and more containers need to be transported by rail.

Today the Fremantle ROAD2RAIL people will hold a forum with experts at 2pm in the meeting room at the City of Fremantle. Enter from the back steps in front of MANY 6160 where they are painting a large mural.

Roel Loopers

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MORE TRAINS TO FREMANTLE PORTS

Posted in fremantle, port, transport by freoview on March 13, 2015

Workers have been upgrading the railway line in the west of Fremantle and told me this morning that is to accommodate an increase of trains along there. This will be good news for the Road2Rail mob in the east of the city but west end residents might not be of that opinion.

There is no doubt that we need fewer trucks on the roads driving containers to and from Fremantle Ports and I doubt there are on average more than six cargo trains a day, so that’s not a big inconvenience.

Roel Loopers

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ROE 8 HIGHWAY TOLL WAY TO OPEN IN 2019

Posted in export, freight, fremantle, fremantle port by freoview on December 17, 2014

The WA State Government has announced the go ahead for the State’s first toll road to pay for the $ 1,6 billion freight link from Muchea to Fremantle Port.

The freeway will run West of the Kwinana Freeway and run through the environmentally very sensitive Beeliar wetlands, where about 38 hectares of bush land will be destroyed to make way for the highway extension.

It is amazing that the government allowed the rail system from the bush to run into disrepair that resulted in the closure of it. When the whole world is concerned about climate change and pollution, the Barnett government still believes that building roads is better than investing in rail.

Toll will be charged per kilometre travelled, which no doubt will put prices up and might jeopardise WA’s export chances for certain products.

Roel Loopers

ROAD2RAIL NEEDS VOLUNTEERS

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on October 12, 2014

The Fremantle Road to Rail Campaign is alerting the Fremantle community about the government plans to carve a truck freeway through the area.

R2R is letterboxing every house in the greater Fremantle area to educate residents.

Maps have been prepared for volunteers, each area should take about 3 hours maximum to complete. Volunteers can do it at their own pace or join in a collective effort.

Do you want to help? Here’s how to get involved:

• Monday October 13, 7:00 pm
FERN (corner Montreal Street and High Street, Fremantle)
Maps and leaflets will be available for collection.
Stay for the vegan meal as well, if you want (suggested donation $10)

• Saturday October 18, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Fremantle Councillors’ Lounge (up the rear stairs, Fremantle Town Hall)
Fremantle Road to Rail meeting to organise letterboxing
Collect maps and leaflets, also come ready to activate your networks for letterboxing, if possible

• Sunday October 19, morning
Letterboxing
Afterwards gather to celebrate with a free vegan lunch at FERN, 1:00 pm

• Monday October 20, 7:00 pm
FERN (corner Montreal Street and High Street, Fremantle)
Maps and leaflets will be available for collection.
Stay for the vegan meal as well, if you want (suggested donation $10)

• Sunday October 26, morning
Letterboxing
Afterwards gather to celebrate with a BBQ lunch (meat with some vegetarian, some vegan) at Sam Wainwright’s house (21a Jarvis Street, O’Connor), 1:00 pm

And prepare to march in the joint Save Beeliar Wetlands/Road to Rail contingent in the Fremantle Day parade, November 9.

For more information call Luke on 0426 992 881, Sam on 0412 751 508 or Barry on 9433 6946.

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STATE GOVERNMENT BUYS FREO LAND FOR FREIGHT LINK

Posted in fremantle by freoview on August 6, 2014

The controversial truck corner development at Fremantle High and Stirling streets is on hold for the time being, according to a report in the West Australian today. The project was meant to give better access to Fremantle port for trucks, to the chagrin of local people and the Road2Rail community group, who have been complaining about air and noise pollution for years.

From documents obtained by the West Australian it shows State Government has paid $ 4.5 million on land and property resumption at High, Montreal and Holland streets, as part of the utterly mad $ 1.6 billion Perth Freight Link and toll road that will bring more trucks, more noise, more pollution, more traffic accidents, and that will also destroy the wetlands at North Lake.

In the meantime we can keep crossing the dodgy traffic bridge because there is no money to build a new one, while rail improvements are unlikely to happen for decades with both the state and federal government being in favour of spending more money on roads, probably to show us hippies that climate change is just an illusion.

Roel Loopers

LET’S GO ROE2RAIL!

Posted in fremantle by freoview on May 23, 2014

With different community groups and different suburbs all wanting to fight the proposed Roe 8 highway extension I was wondering if the new slogan and stickers should just be a minor change. What about ROE2RAIL instead of the Road2Rail campaign slogan used by those opposing the Fremantle High Street/Stirling Highway widening.

Roel Loopers

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