Routed compo

04. 12NEWSA “PATHETIC” $265,000 is what FERN will be paid to get out of the way of Main Roads’ $120 million High Street widening project.

As the department prepares to resume 36,000sqm of A-class reserve for a six-lane road, supporters of Fremantle’s sustainable success story are furious at the prospect of moving to a contaminated site just down the road at Booyeembara.

Freo Road 2 Rail campaigner Louise Edmonds says the Main Roads offer to FERN is nowhere near the $750,000 it needs to relocate: “The irrigation infrastructure alone is worth about $100,000,” she says.

FERN convenor Billy Amesz says Main Roads committed to compensating FERN for the full cost of acquiring suitable land and rebuilding the site, “like for like”.

Main Roads has up to $5 million in its compensation envelope, which must also cover a new public golf club, carparks and landscaping.

Mr Amesz says FERN is organising its own appraisal of its assets and transfer costs.

He’s disheartened by the loss of a mature mulberry, which Mr Amesz says is rare as it produces both black and white varieties.

“You put one of each in your mouth and the combination is….”he trails off, licking his lips.

Mayor Brad Pettitt says it’s “clear Main Roads will go ahead with the widening”.

“Council will have to decide whether to hand over the A-class reserve voluntarily,” Dr Pettitt told the Herald.

Main Roads can resume the land if the council does not give it up voluntarily.

Dr Pettitt says the proposed new FERN site at what was to be the fourth stage of Boyeembara Park was previously landfill, and is contaminated with asbestos.

He says it will be cleared by the WA environment and conservation department in the next few weeks.

Bigger than the current FERN site, it will be safe to grow food, Dr Pettitt says.

But Louise Edmonds says major remedial work is needed and any work which involves digging will be expensive and possibly expose potentially dangerous asbestos fibres.

She says Main Roads initially agreed to fund some remediation and FERN supporters want the council to know, “we are standing strong and firm to demand a High Street upgrade solution that satisfies the needs and desires of the Fremantle community”.

The council held a special meeting Thursday to discuss Main Roads’ compensation package.



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