High St: Buswell throws "community consultation" in the bin

Statement by City of Fremantle Councillors Sam Wainwright and Josh Wilson in response to WA Minister for Transport’s decision to impose Option 4

6 September 2011

The City of Fremantle was asked to participate in a collaborative process for the upgrade of High Street, but it now appears that the Minister really only wanted the Council to rubber stamp his preferred option.

It's disappointing that the Council and the community are now threatened with the compulsory acquisition of the A Class Reserve which the Council manages.

And it's particularly disappointing that the Minister released his letter to the media before it was received by the Mayor.

We'd hope the Minister could take a more reasonable approach and return to genuine good faith negotiations with the City.
 Our community wants the best possible road design, and it is Council's job to push for the best outcome, rather than accept the quickest off-the-shelf outcome.

The delay in getting this project underway is entirely the responsibility of the Minister, and it's grossly unfair for the Minister to now bully the Council and the community with the threat of compulsory acquisition.

We can't understand how the Minister refers to the conditions we have set out in relation to community amenity and access as unreasonable expectations.

The Minister's own projections show a doubling of freight into the port by 2020, so you would think that amenity and pollution monitoring considerations are not only reasonable, but necessary.

We're prepared to work towards an agreed outcome, but the Minister will need to understand that it would be a failure of our duty to simply rubber stamp his preferred option without some guarantees when it comes to maintaining community access and amenity.

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