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“Another day, another broken promise,” says Labor over Roe 8 delay

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“Another day, another broken promise,” says Labor over Roe 8 delay

Banksia woodlands in the Beeliar Wetlands, Murdoch

Banksia woodlands in the Beeliar Wetlands, Murdoch

Published under Creative Commons licence

Banksia woodlands in the Beeliar Wetlands, Murdoch

Published under Creative Commons licence

Published under Creative Commons licence

Banksia woodlands in the Beeliar Wetlands, Murdoch

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Premier Colin Barnett has confirmed the long awaited Roe Highway stage 8 extension, promised during the last election, will not be built in this term of government.

The proposed extension is 5km long and would link Roe Highway from Kwinana Freeway in Jandakot to Stock Road in Coolbellup.

Roe 8 has been a topic of fiery debate between community groups and government for over 10 years.

While some say the extension will assist in easing truck congestion from suburban roads, others have said it will destroy wetlands in North Lake and Bibra Lake.

The Save Beeliar Wetlands campaign aims to protect the wetlands and the animals that call it home.

“Roe 8 will be constructed in the water catchment area for Bibra Lake, North Lake, the Beeliar swamps and other wetlands beyond,” they say.

“Cars and petrol cause hydrocarbon and heavy metal contamination of roads. A freeway through a wetland poses a high risk of long term contamination.”

The Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) say that building more roads will not ease up congestion, but instead lead to more traffic, more pollution and more impacts on the health of communities.

Main Roads says they will work with local residents, community groups, conservation groups, Local Government Authorities, the Conservation Council, the Department of Environment and Conservation and the wider community to minimise the potential harm to flora and fauna in the area.

“Accordingly a high level of innovative planning and design solutions and construction techniques, unlike that previously seen on Main Roads’ projects, will be implemented on this project,” they write.

The extension is expected to cost more than $600 million, an amount the State Budget cannot afford.

The Liberal Party used Roe 8 as a selling point in both the 2008 and 2013 election campaigns, but now the Premier says it will not be built before 2017.

“Roe 8 won’t be built in my view in this term of Government but it remains an important road project for the efficient operation of the metropolitan area,” Mr Barnett told The West Australian yesterday.

“We’ve just got a lot on our plate and that’s a very big road project.

“We and the Commonwealth have committed to the Swan Valley bypass project, we’ve committed to extending the freeways, we’ve committed to major urban rail projects and amongst all that, at some stage, Roe 8 comes into play.

“But it’s not going to be one of those earlier projects.”

Shadow Transport Minister Ken Travers said on the WA Labor website that the postponement of the Roe 8 extension was another betrayal of Western Australians.

“Another day, another broken promise by the Barnett Government,” Mr Travers said.

“The Liberal Party has consistently promised to build Roe 8, claiming it was a defining difference between Labor and Liberal in the southern suburbs.

“At the 2008 State Election, the Liberal Party promised to build Roe Stage 8 in its first term of Government.

“Roe 8 has always been a hollow promise, the Barnett Government knows it will not fix the traffic problems in the area, which is why Mr Barnett will continue to promise it, but never deliver.”

Labor is opposed to the extension.

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“Another day, another broken promise,” says Labor over Roe 8 delay