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Perth’s Talking About: Trip Wire Found At Roe 8

It’s one of the issues that has been a slow burn in Perth, but now, things have taken a somewhat sinister turn.

A police horse that was injured by 'trip wire' at the Perth Freight Link construction site has prompted an investigation into whether "professional protesters" placed it there.

A police spokesman said officers found about 40 metres of heavy braided wire within an area of low visibility after the horse struck wire cable that had been placed around trees.

The wire was inside the construction site at Progress Drive near North Lake Road on Tuesday morning, and the horse received minor leg injuries.

Police minister Liza Harvey said if it had been placed there intentionally it was an inappropriate form of protest that could result in serious injury, or even the death of an officer.

"The injury that could result from a police officer on a police horse coming across a trip wire like that could be quite significant," she said.

Ms Harvey said professional protesters, rather than members of the community who were peacefully protesting construction work, were to blame for the extreme actions.

"They fly from one protest to another and engage in these tactics, that cause damage to property and equipment," she said.

"They don't necessarily care about the issue of Roe 8, their interest is in being seen to be a protester."

Premier Colin Barnett said while he recognised most people were protesting peacefully, this kind of protest was illegal and criminal.

What’s the deal with Roe 8 anyway?

Carmen and Fitzi spoke to the spokesperson for the Non-Violent Direct Action Group Rachel Pemberton about Roe 8 on Breakfast.

She said one of the reasons why protestors were keen to stop works is because of the upcoming state election.

“[Mark McGowan] says he will scrap this project if the Labor party are elected to government, which means in eight weeks this could be over, so we think it’s worth stopping the clearing now until at least we can determine the outcome of the election.”

Fitzi chimed in saying the fact is that we need to get goods from point A to point B: “You’re not moving Fremantle Port anytime soon, it’s gotta get there somehow.”

Ms Pemberton agreed, saying that for ten years, both sides of politics were working towards a second harbour at Kwinana: “That was abandoned and we don’t understand why.”

“Every major city in the world and Australia have been relocating their major freight to just outside the city centre, instead of ploughing it all the through the centre of an urban area – it’s not appropriate to have this kind of heavy haulage going through the centre of suburbia.” 

So about that trip wire...

Ms Pemberton says she has “absolutely no idea” where the trip wire came from, that maybe it was someone who was trying to discredit protestors.

“From our point of view, a trip wire like that would harm our people as much as it would harm police and their horses.”

Are you looking forward to it progressing the way it is or would you like to see an alternative route, like a Kwinana Harbour re-think?


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