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Council adds cash to Freight Link fight

AAP logoAAP 16/10/2016

A fighting fund for legal action against the controversial Perth Freight Link has been boosted, with a local council pledging $25,000.

Save Beeliar Wetlands raised $50,000 in one month to pay for its High Court challenge to the WA government's environmental approval for the Roe 8 highway extension, which is the most contentious part of the $1.9 billion project.

The protest group expects to find out in about five weeks whether it has been granted leave to appeal in the High Court, and if proceedings progress to a full hearing, the City of Cockburn has promised to contribute a further $25,000.

The group was outraged last week when the state government signed a $450 million construction contract for Roe 8.

The Labor opposition reiterated it would axe the project if it won power at the March state election, but stopped short of pledging to tear up the contracts, saying it needed to see the documents and explore its legal options first.

Premier Colin Barnett was dismissive of the High Court bid, saying even if it goes ahead, "it is very unlikely to succeed because there is no dispute about environmental standards."

Convenor Kate Kelly said the group would mount "a very strong campaign, legal and otherwise".

"We believe we can stop Roe 8 through legal action, however we may need to respond quickly to any physical threat to the wetlands, particularly if injunctive proceedings are required," she said.

"If we win this court case, the environmental approvals will be swept away.

"What are they doing signing contracts when they know that the potential is those contracts will not be able to be honoured?"

Mr Barnett says the joint state and federal funded project will provide a direct route for trucks to Fremantle port - reducing congestion, improving road safety and freight efficiency.

He says it is supported by the transport industry as well as most southern suburbs residents who want fewer trucks on busy Leach Highway.

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