MLC backs harbour

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has thrown her weight behind the growing call for an outer harbour in the Cockburn Sound, stating that environmental concerns over the potential project were “manageable”.

The State Government has started the first step of the Perth Freight Link project, Roe 8, which has been designed to build additional road infrastructure to the Fremantle Port.

However, opponents of the project have coined the potential for an outer harbour in Kwinana to nullify the need for the Freight Link.

Ms MacLaren said allegations that the Greens did not support the outer harbour idea on environmental grounds were inaccurate.

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“Contrary to claims by the Barnett Government, the Greens do not oppose the outer harbour proposal on environmental grounds,” she said.

“As is the case with big developments, we think there are environmental concerns that need to be investigated and managed if the outer harbour is to be built, including assessing the potential impacts of increased dredging on water quality, and ensuring careful alignment of future transport routes to the harbour to avoid bushland and wetlands.

“From our talks with environmental experts on the sound in recent years, these concerns appear to be manageable.

“It seems to have escaped the Premier’s attention that the proposed location for the outer harbour is the centre of the Kwinana industrial strip, which has been the site of industry and dredging for decades.

“Seagrass in Cockburn Sound must be protected — but the sound’s healthiest seagrass beds, which the Greens want protected at all costs, are in the south of Cockburn Sound in Mangles Bay, and on the east side of Garden Island — not on the Kwinana industrial strip.”

The City of Kwinana is a strong supporter of the outer harbour concept, with its Indian Ocean Gateway proposing the use of Rowley and Anketell Roads to link up with the new facility.

Mayor Carol Adams said the Greens support added to the growing call for the project to be properly considered.

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