Nahan blasts McGowan’s pledge to scrap Roe 8 if elected

Riverton MLA Mike Nahan.
Riverton MLA Mike Nahan.

RIVERTON MLA Mike Nahan said residents in his electorate should be outraged by a Labor Party pledge to tear up the contracts for Roe 8, if elected.

Labor leader Mark McGowan said the party would axe the Roe 8 extension and renegotiate existing contracts to free up the funding for other projects.

Dr Nahan, whose past two election campaigns included Roe 8 as a cornerstone, said the highway extension was desperately needed to remove cars and trucks from local roads, and provide a southern access route to Fiona Stanley Hospital.

He said the announcements let down people who regularly drove on Leach Highway and South Street.

“(The) announcement highlights that Mark McGowan has no interest in the communities south of the river, including residents in the Riverton electorate,” Dr Nahan said.

“Has Mr McGowan actually driven on Leach Highway and experienced what the people of Riverton do every day, or tried to access Fiona Stanley Hospital during peak hour?

“The reality is the Perth Freight Link, which includes Roe 8, is rated as the most important project in the whole of Australia by the Independent Infrastructure Australia, which is why the Commonwealth Government has committed to fund 80 per cent of the project.”

Dr Nahan’s opposition comes as the Federal Government pledged to pull some $1.2billion in Commonwealth funding earmarked for the project, leaving Mr McGowan’s promise to reallocate the money to other road projects in doubt.

Mr McGowan earmarked the money for a $145 million duplication of Armadale Road, $166 million Armadale-North Lake Road bridge and $95 million Wanneroo Road overpasses.

“The Commonwealth Government has made it clear that the State Government is unable to redirect that funding to other projects, meaning this decision will put a whopping $1.2 billion hole in the budget, while doing nothing to reduce congestion – leaving commuters and truck drivers stranded,” Dr Nahan said.

He said the projects would do little to address congestion along Leach Highway and South Street–directly affecting his electorate.

“This decision is socially and fiscally irresponsible and leaves Perth’s southern suburbs high and dry,” he said.

“Mr McGowan has no solution to congestion on Leach Highway and South Street, no credible freight plan, no plan to provide a critical southern access link to Fiona Stanley Hospital, and will force a future Government to fast track a $3-5billion outer harbour while there is significant capacity at Fremantle Port,” he said.