WA’S new Opposition leader Libby Mettam has seized on reduced funding for Fremantle port infrastructure to claim the McGowan government is running it down to justify the outer harbour project.
Ms Mettam, who’s also shadow transport minister, said the $63 million underspend in last year’s budget could also be undermining the safety of the port’s workers.
“The government admitted it was because projects had been deferred, and at the same time they were paying for a report to justify a new outer harbour,” Ms Mettam said.
She repeated claims the Westport Taskforce had produced a pre-determined report recommending the Kwinana port, and said Nicole Lockwood shouldn’t have been running the Taskfroce when she was also heading up the WA Freight and Logistics Council.
Liberal candidate for Fremantle Miquela Riley joined Ms Mettam at the port this week and called for the state government to hold a forum about the future of the port city, saying locals were becoming concerned about the uncertainty.
“Unemployment in Fremantle before Covid-19 was already above the national average, including youth unemployment,” Ms Riley said.
“Jobs will be lost as a result of the closure of the port, yet there appears to be no plan of how to remediate this.”
Ms Riley also wants to see more information about how transport issues around the city are to be addressed without Roe 8 or 9.