Freo's View

TRANSPORT MINISTER NALDER A PETROL HEAD

Posted in city of fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on August 6, 2015

WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder should move to Dreamland on the east coast because not much what he has to say has anything to do with proper planning the future of our state, as his comments about the PERTH FREIGHT LINK in a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia shows.

Nalder claims the PFL has enormous economic benefits for Western Australia even if Fremantle Port could shift to Kwinana in 20 to 25 years from now, and he believes the very expensive toll road will not become a white elephant. And why is that?

Because the Minister believes it will just be the greatest of all solutions to cart some 20,000 future harbour residents in and out of the port city on the new freeway. Public transport? Lightrail? Rapid Transit Busses? NO! Cars on roads is what the Liberal/National government sees as the future for Western Australia.

Nalder said that Fremantle Port could become a high density residential-commercial area housing 20,000 people, and the 14km route would be used to give those people better access to Perth Airport and the eastern suburbs. Oh thank you sooo much, Minister. Your great forward planning using the latest technologies will see our State go backward by 30 years and you  will no doubt receive a medal from the car industry.

In the meantime, the Minister announced, we are going to see the number of trucks coming out of Fremantle Port more than double. “We will see 6000 trucks a day coming out of it’ he claimed.

Roel Loopers

STATE DEPARTMENT MOVE TO FREMANTLE!!

Posted in development, fremantle, state government by freoview on August 5, 2015

office space

WOW! Great news for Fremantle and the revitalisation of the CBD with the Department of Finance advertising for office accommodation in today’s West Australian.

They are looking for A-grade building standard and lettable area of 20,000 square metres no further than 600 metres from the train station with an expected completion by 2019.

I don’t think Kings Square is within 600 metres of the Freo train station, so this might be a build up to sell Victoria Quay and Fremantle port.  I am not sure also if the Atwell Arcade has enough available floor space to accommodate the requirements. Whatever the outcome it will be positive for Freo I hope.

Roel Loopers

JOIN THE PERTH FREIGHT LINK PROTEST TODAY!!

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on August 2, 2015

Come and hop on the train for today’s PERTH FREIGHT LINK MYSTERY TOUR that will bring the protest to the heartland of Premier Colin Barnett’s electorate. It starts this Sunday August 2 at 10.30 at Pioneer Park opposite the Fremantle train station. Here is what the Hamilton Hill Action Group wrote:

The Perth Freight Link is a destructive $2 billion + dollar six-lane highway. It is set to go through the pristine and sacred Beeliar Wetlands and then bulldoze its way through Fremantle, destroying remnant bushland, heritage sites and dividing communities.

There are viable, cheaper and less destructive alternatives available.

The campaign is growing but we need your help. Come join us to take the message to the people of Fremantle and beyond.

Meet in Pioneer Park in Fremantle (opposite the Train Station) on Sunday August 2nd at 1030am.

Bring banners, flags, whistles and other things to make a vibrant, joyous parade.

For more info on the campaign, see: http://www.rethinkthelink.com

This event is organised by the Hamilton Hill Action Group.

FREMANTLE PORT GROWTH NO GO WITHOUT NEW BRIDGE

Posted in fremantle ports, western australia by freoview on July 29, 2015

An article in today’s WEST AUSTRALIAN shows again that piecemeal planning nowadays must be part of the job description for governments. The West reports that a draft submission in 2012 by the WA State Government to Infrastructure Australia states that Fremantle Port could not grow unless a new bridge was built.

The idea was to build a new combined road and rail bridge to replace the old traffic bridge, which the report said was critically unsafe, and leave Stirling Bridge to cater for truck based freight to the port. The report stated that optimal capacity of the port would be reached by 2022.

The West reports that Transport Minister Dean Nalder claims the risks of using the old traffic bridge had been addressed by a $ 20 million project that put steel and concrete bollards downstream from the bridge, to prevent ships running into it, and by strengthening and reinforcing the old bridge. Yes Minister!

Roel Loopers

REALITY CHECK NEEDED WITH CITY PLANNING

Posted in city of fremantle, planning, state government by freoview on July 29, 2015

The City of Fremantle full Council meeting tonight has many interesting items, such as the Cantonment Hill and Princess May Park masterplans on the agenda, and also the City’s submission to the State Government on the Perth and Peel @ 3.5 Million directions.

There are many people who questioned the need for the Perth and Peel @ 3.5 Million document when the government only launched its Directions 2031 four years ago. That document directed local councils to increase infill-higher density- development near train stations and along transit corridors, without guidance or support on how to do it, so it has achieved very little.

In 2014 the residential development fill in stood at 28% and the Directions 2031 wanted an increase to 47%, but we are not even close to that target in the metropolitan area where it stands at only 30%. Fremantle is one of the highest achievers with a 36% infill rate.

Part of the problem has been that the State Government has simply demanded a fill in increase without  showing local governments how to achieve it and there has been lack of support for integrated planning with State agencies unwilling to increase public transport services to potential infill locations. It’s the chicken and egg thing where local governments want the State to introduce the services before they start infill development while the State expects the development to go ahead without committing to increasing old or implementing new services such as lightrail and or rapid bus transport.

What amazes me about all these plans, ideas and directions is a severe lack of reality at all levels of government and by so called planning experts. On TV yesterday opposition against the extension of a large northern suburb shopping centre was vocal, with overflow parking in residential streets being a problem, so yet another ‘expert’ voiced her opinion that shopping centres should be built near train stations. Ooops! I though State Government wanted mainly residential infill near train stations, so not sure how very large-scale shopping precincts would be incorporated within those plans.

There is also naivety about suggesting shopping centres near train stations as it would be near impossible to do so along the Fremantle to Perth and Armadale line where shopping centres would destroy the older residential suburbs to an unrecognisable mess and severely impact on the character and lifestyle.

Let us look at the practicality of shopping centres near railway stations. Why is it IKEA, BIG W, The GOOD GUYS, HARVEY NORMAN, etc. are not near railway stations but next to large parking areas? Because people will not buy a huge flatscreen TV, new computer, washing machine, etc. and take it home on the train. They want to put it in their car or on the back of the ute and that is why shopping centres near railway stations only could be what we already have; highstreets. Sadly highstreets have lost popularity and people flock to sterile shopping centres instead.

Long and short term city planning needs to receive a severe injection of reality. The naive dreamers and unrealistic placemakers should take a cold shower or direct their creativity toward making surreal art, because city planning needs to be about achievable outcomes.

Roel Loopers

LATEST ABOUT PERTH FREIGHT LINK

Posted in development, fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on July 27, 2015

map PFL

PERTH FREIGHT LINK latest News from the WA MAINROADS website:
On 2 July 2015 the journey towards safer roads and communities in Perth’s southern suburbs achieved a major milestone following conditional environmental approval of the Roe Highway Extension (Roe 8) by the Minister for Environment.
Find out more now at the Roe Highway Extension (Roe 8) project page.

Procurement
Three proponents have been invited to participate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) phase of the Perth Freight Link project.
Proposals will be sought for two sections as follows:
Section 1 – a 5.2km extension of Roe Highway (Stage 8) from Kwinana Freeway to just west of Coolbellup Avenue; and
Section 2 – upgrades to Stock Road, Leach Highway, High Street and Stirling Highway, spanning 8.2km.
The three consortia comprise the following experienced teams:
BGC Contracting, Laing O’Rourke, Arup and Jacobs
Clough, Brierty, WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff and Hyder
Leighton Contractors, Georgiou, GHD, AECOM, BG&E and WA Limestone .
The consortia were chosen following the evaluation of Expressions of Interest (EOI) applications which were submitted in March 2015. The consortia will now participate in the RFP stage of the procurement process and prepare detailed proposals for design and construction.
Proponents for Section 2 are being asked to conduct a feasibility study for an alternative route, which includes a tunnel option, during the RFP stage. The feasibility of an alternative route for PFL Section 2 will be considered against environmental, economic and social impacts measures.
Alliance contracts are expected to be awarded in October 2015 for Section 1 and in December 2015 for Section 2.
Further information is available from our current Information Sheet and the WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder ‘s media ‘milestone’ statement.
Alternative Route – Section 2
Main Roads has committed to exploring all route options for Perth Freight Link to deliver the best solution for road users, taxpayers and the local community.
In early May 2015, shortlisted proponents were asked to prepare a feasibility study for an alternative route that includes a section of tunnel and avoids immediate upgrades to Stock Road and Leach Highway.
The alternative route extends Roe Highway west of Stock Road along the Roe Highway road reserve in Hamilton Hill. It then heads north as a tunnel, starting just before Clontarf Hill and running underground to join Stirling Highway near High Street.
The feasibility of this alternative route will be considered against environmental, economic and social impact measures.
A recommendation on the preferred route will be made to the State Government by the end of 2015 at which time any potential impacts on properties will become clearer.
Project Overview
The $1.6 billion Perth Freight Link, officially launched on 19 May 2014 as part of the Federal Budget (media statement), is the largest road infrastructure project ever to be undertaken in Western Australia.
It will provide the ‘missing link’ in the Perth Urban Transport Corridor, through a dedicated, high productivity, east-west freight connection between Perth’s heartland industrial areas, such as Kewdale and Welshpool, and Fremantle Port. Current stop-start traffic will be replaced with free-flowing vehicle movement.
The project will link with the $1 billion Gateway WA project and the $1.12 billion NorthLink WA (Perth to Darwin Highway) project to provide a free flowing 85km route from Muchea to Fremantle Port and Perth’s southern industrial and trade centres – delivering significant benefits to the economy, industry, motorists and local communities.
The project will result in improved safety for all road users, reduced traffic congestion, fewer trucks on urban roads, lower emissions, reduced noise and significant freight industry productivity improvements.
Project Timing
Two major contracts (for Section 1 and Section 2) are scheduled to be awarded later in 2015 with infrastructure works expected to commence in early 2016 and be completed in 2019. Commencement of construction of the Perth Freight Link is subject to environmental approval.
The first section of Roe Highway Stage 8 will provide improved access into the Murdoch Activity Centre, including Fiona Stanley Hospital in the first half of 2017.
A third section will see widening of a 1km pinch-point section of Roe Highway between Tonkin Highway and Orrong Road. Tenders for Section 3 will be called in mid-2015 under a separate construct-only contract, with award in late 2015. Construction of Section 3 is expected to be completed by end of 2016.
Project Scope
The Perth Freight Link infrastructure works will see:
Section 1:
A 5.2 km extension of Roe Highway, west of the Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road in Coolbellup.
Section 2:
Upgrading of Stock Road through O’Connor and Willagee, with grade separated interchanges at Winterfold Road, South Street and Leach Highway;
Upgrading Leach Highway and High Street with grade separated interchanges at Carrington Street, High Street and Marmion Street;
Improvements to High Street in Fremantle.
Section 3:
Duplication of Roe Hwy (to three lanes in each direction) between Tonkin Hwy and Orrong Rd, including a new bridge over the freight railway.

LYNN MACLAREN ATTACKS LACK OF PORT PLANNING

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on July 23, 2015

The lack of planning behind the proposed Perth Freight Link has been confirmed by recent WA Planning Commission documents, according to Fremantle Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren.

“The headlong rush to throw dollars at a road, even one that goes nowhere, is at odds with the State Government’s more considered long-term planning processes,” Lynn MacLaren said. “This is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in WA Planning Commission documents recently put out for public comment, which provide the basis for the Government’s long-term planning for the Perth-Peel region.

“The draft ‘Towards Perth and Peel@3.5 million’ report, released in May, states: ‘current planning indicates that the Inner Harbour at Fremantle will reach capacity by about the mid-2020s’.

“The WAPC report goes on to make multiple references to future freight going through the Outer Harbour at Kwinana and says ‘making provision for future Outer Harbour port facilities in Cockburn Sound and related planning actions’ should be a priority for the Department of Transport.

Lynn MacLaren asked “If this the WAPC’s ‘current planning’ as of May 2015, the question is why is the Government committing around $2 billion of scarce Federal and State revenue to a hugely destructive freight route leading to the Fremantle Port while neglecting the urgent need for planning and developing the Outer Harbour?’

WA STATE GOVERNMENT SHORT SIGHTED ON FREO PORT

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, perth freight link by freoview on July 23, 2015

I was astounded to hear Western Australian Treasurer Mike Nahan arrogantly dismissing the objections against the Perth Freight Link on TV, stating that it would take at least twenty years to build a port at Kwinana, but giving no indication when the government will start budgeting and planning for the outer harbour port, in the knowledge that Fremantle port will reach capacity in around ten years from now.

I would support spending good money on fast solutions for the short term and get more freight on rail, and trucks off our roads, but certainly governments have a duty to plan and build for the long-term future and not just for the next 5-10 years. Building an outer harbour port does not, and should not, stop short-term improvement projects to deal with the ever increasing freight to the port that often makes driving along Leach Highway a nightmare and creates traffic jams in North Fremantle. It should go hand in hand.

Where did the Treasurer get advise from that building a new port in Cockburn Sound would take a mammoth twenty years and why has he not budgeted for it?

The short-sightedness and spin regarding the Perth Freight Link is serious mismanagement of our State’s affairs and looks more like stubbornness than good governance. To spend some two billion dollars on a road to a port that will not be able to grow much more is a waste of money and even more so when there are no concrete plans, and no money, to duplicate the Stirling Bridge. Fact is that the State does not have the financial capacity to build the bridge in the near future. That could mean a $ 2 billion road to nowhere that more or less stops at the Swan River, where a huge bottleneck would be created and a traffic nightmare for years to come.

Arrogance is not governance Mike Nahan and concentrating on short-term solution will only make matters far worse in the future. An outer harbour port is the best long-term strategy and needs to be prioritised!

Roel Loopers

PERTH FREIGH LINK NOT THE BEST OPTION

Posted in fremantle, fremantle ports, perth freight link by freoview on July 22, 2015

It was a packed house at the Fremantle Townhall, that overflowed onto Kings Square, on Tuesday evening for the RETHINK PERTH FREIGHT LINK forum with Federal politicians Allannah MacTiernan and Scott Ludlam and the Mayors of Fremantle, Cockburn, East Fremantle and Melville. The Maritime Union of Australia was represented as was the Residents and Ratepayers Association of Cottesloe.

North Freo comedian and author Ben Elton was the MC and started the night with a powerful speech telling the audience that we might need advise from Bronwyn Bishop on how to cart dead weight around. Container freight by helicopter? He also stressed this was a community issue and not a political one.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said the State had assured him the old railway bridge would be replaced in the future but all indications were the Barnett government wanted to duplicate the Stirling traffic bridge to accommodate more trucks to the port. It would cost at least $ 500 million to do that and would have a huge impact on East Fremantle. He said that 92% of vehicles using the proposed freight link would be private cars, not trucks.

Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the future is in our hands and there is a better way than the PFL. Don’t trash our heritage, culture and nature for a road to nowhere.

Alannah MacTiernan told the crowd that the PFL proposal came out of the blue as there had been no State Government plans for it and it was not in the budget either. It was pushed by the Federal Government that only wants to support and fund roads. She said plans for an outer harbour had been advanced and going on since 1996 by both the Liberal and Labor governments when in power. This is truly a disgrace! Her request for documentation had been rejected because the release of the documents would cause damage between the State and Federal governments. It is such a flawed process, she said.

Senator Scott Ludlam sprouted optimism saying he believed the forum was the critical mass moment as had happened with the Ningaloo Reef and James Price Point protests that were won by the community. He said this movement could achieve the same as the city of Portland in the USA where the community rejected more freeways and the government listened and built lightrail.

Ludlam made one very important observation we should all think about “What is all this stuff in those containers? It is stuff we might not actually need!” He is right that excessive consumerism is a huge part of the problem.

He said that the Melville people were being sold-out as those along Leach Highway believed the PFL is a solution, while it would create more trucks through Melville. “It is a bullshit waste of taxpayers’ money!”

Senator Ludlam suggested to set up funds to take legal action and slow the process down in the courts and got 50 people to hand over $ 100 each to start it off.

The Mayor of Melville who supports the PFL was brave to attend and said he was talking about people’s life and that the current road network was never designed to cope with the volume of traffic it had now.

Lawyer John Hammond, who is President of the Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association, told the appreciative crowd that “In Cottesloe we are getting pissed off! We don’t want it!”

It was a good forum that could have been better with shorter speeches and a longer Q&A period, but it was positive that it was not a political Barnett government bashing but real concerns about lifestyle, communities, nature and the preservation of culture.

There are other options and the State and Federal governments should explore those before they make the huge mistake of building the Perth Freight Link to Fremantle Port that only has a limited time left until it reaches capacity. A new outer harbour port near Kwinana is essential but even that needs to be handled sensitively so that it has minimal impact on the communities and nature there.

Roel Loopers

IT’S A BULLSHIT WASTE OF TAXPAYERS’ MONEY

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on July 21, 2015

I am emotionally too touched by this evening’s RETHINK THE FREIGHT LINK forum at the packed Fremantle Townhall so I will leave the writing till tomorrow, once I have cleared my head. What a special community meeting it was. It was very inspiring, uplifting and positive and there was a real sense of confident hope that we all together can create the change that is needed. Well done to all who came and organised it!

So all  am posting this eve are some of the photos I took. I will post another article on the forum tomorrow morning.

Roel Loopers

P.S. All community groups involved in this you are welcome to use my photos on your websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Just drag them off the blog.

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