City blocks Roe 8 talks

An artist’s impression of what Roe 8 was to look like.
An artist’s impression of what Roe 8 was to look like.

COCKBURN councillors have voted to block potential meetings between city officers and parties involved in the construction of the Perth Freight Link until all legal proceedings have run their course.

Building Roe 8, a consortium overseeing the first stage of the proposed $1.9 billion project extending Roe Highway to Fremantle Port, was keen to open a line of communication with the city, with technical discussions to follow soon afterwards.

The State Government is keen to begin construction on Roe 8 before the end of 2016.

At the time the Gazette went to print, the State Government was set to erect fencing around Roe 8 work sites, with actual construction to begin before the month is out.

But with the City having taken a stance against the project, councillors voted last month to hold off on talks until all options to block the road had been exhausted.

One of those is being led by the Save Beeliar Wetlands group, which is keen to challenge the state and federal-funded project in the High Court.

A special leave hearing is scheduled for December 16.

At a special council meeting recently, Mayor Logan Howlett moved that the city not authorise talks between its officers and any party involved in Roe 8 planning.

Councillors voted in favour 6-1. But Mr Howlett did call on the City to review its position following the conclusion of any legal action.

“It is incumbent on the council to ensure that every avenue is exhausted in terms of its objection to Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link before it gives consideration to any requests that are put before the administration that would allow dialogue to commence with any party,” he said.

Building Roe 8 alliance manager Justin Redelinghuys said it was disappointing the city was not yet on board.

“Building Roe 8 requested a meeting with the City of Cockburn to create a collaborative forum to discuss the detailed design and construction management of the Roe 8 project,” he said.

“This meeting would have been the first of an ongoing engagement program aimed at providing an opportunity for the council to participate in the design of the highway and its integration into the local road network and surrounding environment.

“Such technical discussions would have centred on items such as pavements, drainage, lighting, shared paths, revegetation and landscaping.

“It would have also considered the urban design and helped to identify legacy projects with the aim of improving amenity for local residents.”