Road plan boosts park hopes

Photo PlaceTHE Leighton Action Coalition says the WA government’s plan to spend $40 million realigning Curtin Avenue near Port Beach is long overdue.

In a media release WA premier Colin Barnett says the realignment will now run along the railway line so it draws heavy traffic away from both Leighton and Port beaches.

The LAC campaign started 14 years ago to stop the old marshalling yards being developed as housing. A compromise plan resulted in some housing and promises of extensive reserves and parking.

Over the past decade and a half, housing has gone up but no parks have been created.

LAC’s Sue Harrington says the realignment paves the way for parks development.

“The construction of the main road adjacent to the railway line is needed to take commuter and freight traffic away from the beach and to allow Port Beach Road to be reconfigured as a traffic-calmed coastal boulevard and to provide safe access to beach parking,” she says.

“The new road will also enable the essential rehabilitation and landscape works to occur in a logical and economic manner. The premier’s announcement is silent on whether there are funds available to rehabilitate the dunes or provide the landscape setting that will enable better public access and use of the beach. The government now needs to commit to funding and a timeline for the other essential rehabilitation works to turn the marshaling yards into parkland.”

Founding LAC member Andrew Sullivan, a Freo councillor and Greens state candidate, says there’s still a lot to do, including a rewriting of coastal planning policies to ensure buildings take predicted sea level rises into account.

Meanwhile, Cr Sullivan launches his election campaign at the Fremantle Arts Centre February 8. He doesn’t regard as ominous kickstarting his campaign at a former asylum.

by BRENDAN FOSTER

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