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Turmoil for residents in Freight Link path

AAP logoAAP 12/10/2016 Rebecca Le May

Residents near Fremantle won't find out if they're in path of the contentious $1.9 billion Perth Freight Link before the March state election, Premier Colin Barnett has confirmed.

Home owners in the suburb of Palmyra were told by the WA government last year that their homes would be compulsorily acquired and razed to make way for the state and federal funded road, which aims to provide a direct route for trucks to Fremantle Port.

The Barnett government announced on Tuesday it was finalising the construction contracts for the Roe 8 highway extension.

It is the first and most controversial part of the Perth Freight Link as it will cut through the Beeliar wetlands, with work to begin by the end of this year.

The route of the second stage connecting Stock Road to Fremantle is yet to be determined and while Mr Barnett says a tunnel is looking more likely than bulldozing houses in Palmyra, residents are still concerned by the uncertainty.

Transport Minister Bill Marmion told parliament Main Roads had 22 options on the table.

Mr Barnett told reporters it was unlikely the route of the second stage would be selected before the 2017 state poll but the decision would be made with full consideration to the neighbourhood.

"I don't think residents need to be concerned," he said.

That assurance may not be enough for Tania and Damon Smirke, who live behind Leach Highway where the second stage could run and were last year sent two letters saying their home would be compulsorily acquired.

They say they are now concerned their newly renovated home is back in the firing line.

Their four young sons were distressed at the thought of moving away from their neighbourhood friends and maybe even having to change schools.

"Our lives have gone back into being utter turmoil - people are playing with our lives," Ms Smirke told reporters on Wednesday.

"It's like we're toys just for their amusement and it really does destroy your family life ... it has a huge impact.

"The uncertainty is not something I'd wish on anybody."

Opposition leader Mark McGowan said from the Smirke residence that the state government didn't seem to care about the angst they were causing, Mr Barnett accused him of scaremongering.

"I reckon he went out there and scared them," the premier shouted in parliament.

"He would have gone out there and alarmed those people."

While Mr Barnett said he could sympathise with Palmyra residents, he urged them to "blame the Labor government who got rid of and sold off the Fremantle Eastern Bypass".

"That was a dedicated route for heavy transport and that would have resolved all of these issues," he said.

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