IT should not cost homes or businesses, but concerns remain that the planned Murdoch Drive extension is simply “Roe 8 by stealth”.
The $100 million extension announced in May will link Murdoch Drive with the Kwinana Freeway and Roe Highway, helping motorists get to Fiona Stanley Hospital and the Murdoch Activity Centre (MAC).
The City of Melville welcomed the announcement for the precinct, which is expected to provide as many as 35,000 jobs, saying it would support the MAC’s potential to become WA’s largest area of employment outside the Perth CBD.
But with the extension expected to run through North Lake’s Baker Court and land cleared for the first stage of the Perth Freight Link (PFL), some in the community believe it could be a quiet start for Roe 8.
Community Wildlife Corridor co-convenor Kim Dravnieks said her team was seeking a meeting with Transport Minister Rita Saffioti to discuss the merits of the project and what implications it could have on established roads.
“We don’t want to blow it up but it is causing angst,” she said.
Ms Saffioti said Roe 8 had been scrapped, with the need for the Murdoch Drive extension identified more than a decade ago.
“Detailed designs are currently being progressed, however no homes or businesses will need to be acquired,” she said.
“Almost all of the land required for this project was cleared as part of the Roe 8 works.
“Any additional clearing required will be in accordance with project environmental approvals.”
City of Cockburn planning and development services director Daniel Arndt said council representatives would know more after a meeting with Main Roads this month.
“The City has confirmed that the State Government does not support the modification of any local road to allow freight access from Stock Road to the Kwinana Freeway,” he said.
“This includes Farrington and Winterfold roads.
“Any modification of these roads would only be for the sole benefit of local residents to better move in and around the community.
“The State Government has clearly indicated that this is not a part of any extension to Roe Highway.”
Willagee MLA Peter Tinley said he was looking to facilitate a community information session “as soon as practicable”.
“I have had several discussions with Rita Saffioti and she is committed to a consultation process once design details are established,” she said.
“I believe it is important to have the answers to major and obvious community questions before a meeting is arranged.”
Construction on the project, which was included in a $2.3 billion road and rail deal struck by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Mark McGowan last month, is expected later this year and expected to create 700 jobs.