AN “online consultation portal” launched by the Westport Taskforce has been swamped by opposition to a new harbour in Kwinana.
The taskforce is looking at the state’s future port and freight transport needs, with one of the key proposals being considered an outer harbour to take container traffic away from Fremantle.
But of the 460-odd comments “pinned” to the consultation map, the Chook struggled to find any support for the harbour, with the vast majority concerned about the environmental impact on Cockburn sound, the effect on Fremantle’s port and the deletion of Roe Highway.
“Don’t destroy the largest aquatic breeding ground for so many species of marine life,” wrote one of the anonymous commenters.
“Find another solution. No outer harbour.”
Another was worried about the impact on Kwinana Beach, saying it was the safest place for kids to learn about boat safety and fishing.
“Will be a tragedy to have a full harbour here,” they said.
A number of people raised concerns about the future of the heritage-listed Naval Base shacks.
“These shacks are some of the only ones left that preserve the way of early life in Australia; my family have … been here for 25 years,” wrote one.
“THE shacks and the area that surround it are the only virgin land that has been yet touched by industry,” wrote another. “This small area needs to be protected for the future generation and sustainability of the ecosystem. Also the shacks are a heritage of the community and families of the area.”
Over Melville way, there were the inevitable gripes about the end of Roe.
“It beggars belief that environmentally sensitive zones can not be protected with minimal damage while road infrastructure is built and used,” wrote someone pinned at the Melville Glades Golf Club.
“Ranford Road through Canning Vale and further south has been destroyed; beautiful wetlands, by road and urban development and yet I have not heard any complaints from environmental or political groups.
“Roe 9 is essential infrastructure for improving quality of life for residents and safety for road users.”
But a note from the Taskforce’s latest update cautions about treating the comments as a “popularity test”.
Taskforce chair Nicole Lockwood said an interim report had been delayed because of the unexpectedly complex project.
“Meanwhile, the Westport Taskforce has moved into stage 2 of our project, where we develop a range of port and transport options and scenarios across Fremantle, Bunbury and Kwinana,” Ms Lockwood said.
“For stage 2, Westport has adopted an agile approach; this will result in outcomes being delivered much more swiftly than in stag 1.”
by STEVE GRANT