The Australian Greens have noted the long-anticipated release of Infrastructure Australia's sketchy assessment of the Perth Freight Link project.
"We can understand now why the Barnett Government is so reluctant to release information about the Freight Link. Every time someone does, it damages the case," Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
"The assessment reveals that the Barnett government did not bother to compare the Freight Link with the costs and benefits of developing a dedicated road and rail link to the Outer Harbour in Cockburn Sound.
"12 Freight Link variations were shortlisted, but only one was subjected to a "rapid benefit-cost report". In other words, Premier Barnett only evaluated the option he had already decided to build.
"This is not an assessment: it is a four-lane foregone conclusion through a wetland system, with no plans for what happens after it is built, apart from a catastrophic traffic jam on Stock Road.
"The price tag for Stage One of the freight link has jumped to $1.742 billion - for every three meters of roadway, Premier Barnett proposes to burn a million dollars.
"The IA report damns the Freight Link proposal with faint praise: the project only accrues a 9% value to freight traffic, which implies that planners are assuming the freeway will fill up with private passenger traffic.
"This is a feeble return when the Government's entire argument is based on taking trucks off the road and building us a freight network for the future.
"It is expensive and ill-considered, it still doesn't go anywhere near the port, and opposition is growing by the day. That's the reality of this freight link disaster, and the more we learn about it, the more obvious it becomes that the project is doomed," Senator Ludlam concluded.