WA Liberal Leader and Member for Cottesloe, Dr David Honey MLA, was pleased that the Minister for Transport agreed, during Parliamentary debate, to look at alternative options put forth by the community for the principal shared path through North Fremantle.
Using the Grievance procedure in Parliament, Dr Honey presented the case for residents who are concerned about current proposals.
“The Minister’s willingness to consider alternative alignments to what has been proposed will be welcomed by the North Fremantle community,” said Dr Honey.
“Residents in North Fremantle are supportive of the development of the principal shared path along the rail line but are greatly concerned about the adverse impact of current plans on residents in Pearse and Jackson Streets in North Fremantle.
The impact on the lives of the people in Pearse Street would be very negative. A high wall, constant lighting, regular noise and potential anti-social behaviour are just some of the potential impacts.
Longer-term residents experienced these problems when the railway easement was open to the public.
Night-time users of the path caused unnecessary noise, whilst safety and security were threatened by instances of people climbing over fences into yards and even breaking into homes.
Under the government’s current proposal, the principal shared path would not even be directly accessible to the people of Pearse Street, adding to the belief that North Fremantle is being treated a thoroughfare to Fremantle rather than a destination in its own right.
Residents have noted options for the bridge alignment were presented and discussed with the various stakeholders but no other option for the alignment of the principal shared path has been presented or appears to have been considered apart from a continuation of the path along the eastern side of the railway.
“I implored the Minister to arrange for government representative to meet with residents to discuss in detail their alternative proposals. I also requested that the residents be subsequently provided with a detailed written response as to why their proposals are not acceptable, or hopefully how they intend to change the plans to accommodate community views.
“As I regularly remind government, local residents have to live with the legacy of planning and development decision and that is why local views must be respected in such decisions,” said Dr Honey.