City Of Fremantle Councillor Sam Wainwright has labeled the $8 billion price tag for keeping Fremantle Port as “bulls***” during a community discussion on the port’s future.
During public forum held by The Fremantle Network, councillor Wainwright strongly questioned figures presented by the McGowan Government’s Westport Taskforce.
On the cost and benefit analysis, Mr Wainwright criticised the taskforce for not including greenhouses gases and emissions into the social costs of the outer harbour.
He also argued that the McGowan Government’s METRONET doesn’t cover Perth’s southern urban sprawl without the Cockburn to Fremantle rail line.
“The claim banged on by the media and state government about shifting to that outer harbour is $4 billion, when keeping Fremantle Port is $8 billion is… I’m sorry for being frank about this, it’s bulls***,” Mr Wainwright said during the debate.
Following his speech, he explained to WAMN News on why he believed the taskforce figures were not correct.
He added that many future road projects in Fremantle are aiming at serving private vehicles, and the $1 billion cost of duplicating freight rail is “rubbish” because carrying volume can tripled.
“What I said specifically is this… The claim by the State Government that it would cost $8 billion to keep Fremantle Harbour as a working port, and only $4 billion for the new harbour and move all the functions to the outer harbour are just not credible,” he said.
“The capital cost of building the new harbour may be correct, but the $8 billion (to keep Fremantle Port) is very fluffy if you drill down to the little details available.”
“What has become obvious is the State Government has attempted to lump together every single project; that Mainroads has ever thought about doing in the Great Fremantle region and attach that as a cost of retaining Fremantle Port.”
On the other hand, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt continued his stance for electric trucks (or clean freight), and says it’s important not to rush and build the new Kwinana Port.
At the same time, ex-Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey continued his argument for Roe 8 & 9, says jobs and lives are at risk if it isn’t built.
Meanwhile, Kim Dravnieks defended the Westport Taskforce, saying the taskforce has worked incredibly hard to listen to public voices.
Some residents who have attended the meeting put forward a radical idea of “ripping up Roe Highway stage 5, 6, and 7” as attendees laughed and clapped their hands.
You can watch the full debate and discussion on WAMN News Facebook Page.