Main Roads in massive land grab

MAIN Roads has moved to take over 36,000sqm of A-class reserve including two golf courses as part of the $120 million widening of High Street.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt confirmed the department had started its compulsory acquisition process by asking council to hand over the equivalent of 10 Esplanade parks.

Main Roads representatives will brief council on Monday, having already requested it deal with the request as soon as possible.

The department wants to build a new six-lane highway from Carrington Street to the Stirling Highway intersection at High Street opposite the Fremantle Environmental Resource Network site.

FERN will be relocated to a site on Stevens Street opposite Sullivan Hall and both the public and private golf courses reconfigured to accommodate lesser holes.

Dr Pettitt says a lot of people will not be happy with the move, particularly those who continue to oppose the High Street redevelopment.

He says if council does not give up the land voluntarily, Main Roads will go to state parliament asking for a compulsory takeover of the reserve.

Hundreds of residents of the Gibson Park, White Gum Valley, Booyeembara Friends and North Fremantle precinct groups and Fremantle Road to Rail and Holland Street residents called on the Barnett government to amend the plans.

Residents agree that upgrading is needed, but not on the scale being envisaged. More lanes means more traffic, pollution and noise, they say.

Councillors Doug Thompson and Ingrid Waltham tabled a letter of protest signed by the groups at the October 30 council meeting. Cr Sam Wainwright also tabled a 600-signature petition from FERN.

Dr Pettitt says the council wanted some form of compensation, particularly for people who will lose their homes under the Main Roads plan.

High Street is a designated primary regional road which carries a significant volume of traffic, approximately 14 per cent being heavy vehicles.

Construction is scheduled to start in 2015 and be completed by December 2016.


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