Chorus for new bridge

THE Fremantle Traffic Bridge could become a concert venue and family picnic area if Federal funding can be found to build a replacement, says Labor MP Josh Wilson.

Mr Wilson says the 1939-built bridge is past its used-by date and a new one could incorporate double train tracks to solve the problem of scheduling conflicts between freight and passenger trains.

“Under the WA Labor government we have already seen the proportion of rail freight grow from 9 per cent to above 17 per cent, but studies suggest that 30 per cent is possible with the right infrastructure,” Mr Wilson said.

He took aim at the federal Coalition’s leaked infrastructure wish list, which reportedly earmarks $7.6 billion for projects in marginal electorates across the eastern states and absolutely nothing for WA.

“Here is further proof that WA might as well be invisible to this Coalition government, and the WA Liberals simply take our state for granted.”

Recently the McGowan government sent in a submission to the federal government for funding for five bridges in the north metropolitan area, much to the chagrin of former Fremantle mayor and party member Peter Tagliaferri.

“What happened to a new traffic bridge for Fremantle,” he wondered.

But Mr Wilson says he understands that was for a linked project and he hopes a Freo-specific application will be submitted in future so he can get lobbying in Canberra.

He says the old bridge should be retained as a community asset and a meeting point for events such as live export protests, and says it would have “state significance” so the cost of the upkeep shouldn’t be passed to the Fremantle council.

by STEVE GRANT

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