Cannington MLA Bill Johnston launched an attack on Riverton MLA Mike Nahan and Premier Colin Barnett for failing to start construction on the highway, which he said had been a Liberal Party election promise.
‘In September 2008, Mr Nahan promised that if he was elected, Roe Highway stage 8 extension would be built during his first term in Parliament,’ Mr Johnston said.
‘In March 2009, Mr Nahan said the bulldozers were warming up.
‘In March 2013, Dr Nahan again promised that if he was re-elected, Roe stage 8 would be constructed.’
The extension was planned to start at the Kwinana Freeway/Roe Highway interchange in Jandakot and head west along the existing Metropolitan Region Scheme road reserve for approximately 5km, ending at Stock Road near the intersection of Forrest Road, Coolbellup.
Mr Johnston has repeatedly opposed the extension, which has divided communities for the past 10 years, when plans for the extension were first announced.
Environmental groups in Bibra Lake have vehemently voiced concerns about the negative impact it would have on the wetlands in the Beeliar Regional Park.
However, residents in suburbs that the Leach Highway runs through argued it would provide an alternative pathway for trucks and ease traffic congestion, a view backed by Dr Nahan.
‘On many occasions over the past five years, I have spoken out in support of the Roe Highway stage 8 extension from the Kwinana Freeway through to Stock Road being built to provide access to Fiona Stanley Public Hospital, get trucks off Leach Highway and alleviate traffic congestion on local roads,’ Mr Nahan said.
‘The Liberal State Government has spent $25 million on the public consultative process to identify a preferred route and design that allows it to be built in an environmentally sustainable manner.
‘That proposal is currently before the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for its consideration.’
Mr Nahan said there was no funding in this year’s budget because the extension was still waiting for approval subject to EPA recommendations, but funding would be sought through Federal and State governments.