The Australian Greens have formally asked the federal government to call off the senseless waste of more than a billion dollars on the Perth Freight Link, as the Barnett Government’s increasingly incoherent project planning continues to unravel.
Senator Scott Ludlam, Australian Greens deputy leader and Senator for WA made the call in a budget estimates committee.
"I've never seen a commitment of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to a projected where the proponents, in this case Colin Barnett and his government, cannot even explain what they're going to build," Senator Ludlam said.
“In Senate Estimates today, the federal government confirmed that the WA Government has modelled traffic flows linked to the Perth Freight Link, including the random inclusion of a freight tunnel. This modelling, along with the business case has never been released. If the community benefits are so great, why is the Government keeping them secret?”
“Releasing this information would give some certainty to residents across the area, including residents of Cottesloe to have some solid answers. There is massive discontent across the community about the Freight Link, including in the Premier’s own electorate, with a residents group and local councillor speaking out over the weekend. These voices will continue to get louder.
“The state and federal government have no answers about the route alignment, the use of a tunnel, a possible bridge expansion or how many homes will be destroyed.
“I have written to the Premier seeking clarification as to whether his government is examining alternatives, such as the Outer Harbour development, and whether this has been discussed by state cabinet.
“It is extraordinary that the Abbott Government would even consider throwing a billion dollars at this doomed venture,” Senator Ludlam concluded.
Transcript of Estimates:
Senator Ludlam’s request:
“That the Commonwealth Government hold off on committing funding to this project until the your West Australian counterparts have the faintest idea what it is?
“Because they don't appear to understand what the route alignments even are or what kind of grade separation treatments will applied to stock road, how you are going to get across the river - whether it's a bridge, whether it's a tunnel.
“Can I ask you to take that back, Senator Cash, acknowledging that you're in a representative capacity here, that I've never seen commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars to a project where the proponents actually don't know what it is yet.
A video of this section of Senate Estimates is available at: