THERE have been calls for the City of Cockburn to scrap ratepayer-funded billboards thanking Labor for funding the Armadale Road Bridge.
Following Labor’s State Election win in March, the City re-skinned seven of its permanent billboards with the message: “Thank you WA Labor for funding Armadale Road Bridge”.
The message relates to Labor’s pre-election pledge to halt Roe 8 and divert funding to the $166 million flyover joining Armadale Road to North Lake Road if it won government.
The boards cost ratepayers $4485 to change.
Cockburn councillor Steve Portelli, a pro-Roe 8 supporter of the flyover bridge, said he had been inundated by residents who believed the signs were a waste of money.
He has submitted a “motion of an urgent nature” to have the matter considered by the City at its next ordinary council meeting.
“I’ve also called for similar messages on the City’s website (‘Well done Cockburn – you stopped Roe 8’) to be taken down too,” he said.
“A letter to the McGowan Government would have been more appropriate and a lot less costly.”
Cr Portelli said the boards were a “political statement ingratiating (the City) to a political party”.
While also in favour of the flyover, Build Roe 8 Save Our Suburbs member Steve Greenwood said the council should remain politically neutral.
“Anything that is getting rid of congestion I’m in favour of,” he said.
“I’m just not in favour of political posturing like that. It’s wrong.”
The project is yet to be officially funded, although the City hopes to learn more when it meets with the State Government next week
A previous meeting scheduled for March 30 was rescheduled.
Cockburn chief executive Stephen Cain said the signs were a reminder to the Government that it had a promise to keep.
“The billboards are part of the joint Community Connect South campaign with the City of Armadale which has been ongoing since 2015, the aim of which was to lobby for government funding to duplicate Armadale Road and build the Armadale Road bridge,” he said.
“Following the State Election, our City is keen to remind the new government of the commitment Mark McGowan made on January 4 to build the $166 million Armadale Road Bridge.
“At the time, Mr McGowan also proposed to bring forward the $145 million funding for the Armadale Road dual carriageway, plus a public transit corridor, between Anstey Road and Tapper Road.”
A spokesman for Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the flyover bridge would reduce congestion on local roads. “The scope and timing of the project will be announced once the renegotiation process with the Roe 8 contractor is complete,” he said.