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Call to push Kwinana plan

THE former State Govern-ment’s plans to make 900ha of industrial land available in Perth’s southern suburbs must stay on track, according to industry representatives.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Lyndon Rowe said the Gallop Government had to exercise leadership and ensure what was promised to the industrial sector is delivered.

The former Liberal government was midway through implementing the Fremantle to Rockingham Industrial Area Regional Strategy (FRIARS) when it fell from power in February.

With land hard to come by, the Court Government had proposed to wipe out the small communities of Hope Valley and Wattleup to make room for the State’s growing industrial sector.

The plan outraged residents. However, many resigned themselves to the fact FRIARS was inevitable and sold their properties to the Government under its land acquisition scheme.

But this week Planning Minister Alannah Mac-Tiernan announced residents would be involved in a second consultation process before a final decision was made in two weeks.

The residents have until next Friday to complete and return a survey on whether they want to stay or go.

The plan had the full support of the CCI and local industry representative body, the Kwinana Industries Council.

Both organisations cited employment, new projects and industry direction as major benefits.

KIC executive officer Mike Baker said the new Government had to make a tough decision between removing people from their homes and protecting the interests of WA’s industry.

“Kwinana is the only viable deep-water port that can support industries in Perth,” Mr Baker said.

“The industrial area, and its necessary expansion, is an important piece of infrastructure that cannot be ignored.”

Mr Lowe said it would make no sense for the process to be stopped considering the number of residents who had sold up.

“The Government needs to exercise vision on this difficult issue and not to gamble the progress that has been made on the outcome of a narrow poll,” he said.

“It has been known for many years that the towns do not have a future.

“The Government has made compensation available to those residents wishing to relocate and should continue on a positive path to assist everyone concerned to move forward.”

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