$500m for 1km

WA transport minister Dean Nalder told state parliament this week that completing the last kilometre-and-a-half of the Perth Freight Link would cost taxpayers an additional $500 million.

He conceded upgrading Stirling Highway through to Fremantle Port would ultimately be required to complete the project, but said the projected cost made it a low priority right now.

He suggested minor improvements costing “three million, four million, or five million” dollars could fix the bottleneck around the Canning/Stirling Highway intersection until 2026.

Labor criticised it as a quick-fix.

“The government will spend $2 billion on a road to take trucks to a set of traffic lights and then spend a couple of hundred thousand dollars that will fix it magically,” Rita Saffioti said as part of a heated debate which ended in her removal from the chamber.

“The minister reminded me of a snake-oil salesman standing there with his PFL tonic water,” she quipped.

“Stirling Bridge is not about trucks coming across it; it is about cars,” Mr Nalder told parliament. “This project is important irrespective of what happens at the harbour.”


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