Buswell launches attack on socialist councillor in state parliament

[This is republished from Socialist Alliance WA site.]

State treasurer Troy Buswell launched an attack on Socialist Alliance member and Fremantle City Councillor Sam Wainwright in state parliament on December 5.

True, the try-hard treasurer was probably too busy keeping track of which election promise he was planning to break next to get Sam's name right. (He confused Wainwright with prominent actor Sam Worthington - admittedly an easy mistake to make.)

He also described Wainwright as being a member of the "socialist loony party" which isn't a strictly accurate rendition of the party's name.

The issue at hand was the motion moved by Wainwright (and adopted by the Fremantle Council, 10 votes to 2) setting down conditions upon which the council would agree to upgrade High Street.

The Main Roads plan would knock down houses, force a relocation of the Fremantle Environmental Resource Network, see the loss of 100 trees (including some mature Tuarts), replace five pedetrian crossing points with only one overpass and increase the road capacity by 50%; bringing more trucks and inevitably a corresponding impact on human health caused by diesel particulate and noise pollution (asthma, heart disease and cancer); and of course, road accident trauma.

The resolution adopted by council was based on a request tabled by a coalition of community groups including the White Gum Valley and Gibson Park precincts, Freo Road 2 Rail and FERN. It proposed retaining a four lane road reserve (instead of increasing to six) which in turn would enable the retention of the trees and the provision of pedestrian crossing points.

The fact that Freo Road to Rail campaign has demonstrated that there is huge community opposition to the government's plan indicates that the "loony" label could more appropriately be directed to some of Buswell's front bench colleagues than honest community campaigners like Sam.

Buswell's answer? Compulsory acquisition over the opposition of Fremantle Council and the community. At the same time Mr Buswell's has has confirmed that his pre-election promise to get 30% of freight to Fremantle port on trains is now just an "aspirational target". One more reason to fight back against the Barnett/Buswell agenda.

Troy Buswell's comments from Hansard:

I spoke to our project coordinator this morning. Interestingly, Main Roads lodged — either last night or today — a formal request with the City of Fremantle to excise land from the A-class reserve, which I think is to the south of High Street, the Fremantle Public Golf Course and the Fremantle Environmental Resource Network. My hope is that the City of Fremantle concurs and does not try to frustrate this process by going off on another round of consultation and its own round of engineering, which I suspect it will. I do not know what happened at the City of Fremantle meeting on Wednesday, 27 November — I do not follow it that closely — but a motion about this matter was moved by, I think, a fellow from the socialist loony party called Worthington. I do not know what the result was — it was not on the City of Fremantle’s website this morning — but we will not be agreeing to parts of that motion. The ball is now in the city’s court. I have told the department to move forward with compulsory acquisition and to get legal advice about what we can do if we form the view that the city is trying to frustrate the process. I want to get on and build this upgrade and get a much safer outcome for everybody.

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