Labor is unsure whether it will have the power to scrap Roe 8 if elected

Labor is unsure whether it will have the power to scrap Roe 8 if elected
Labor is unsure whether it will have the power to scrap Roe 8 if elected

THE State Opposition is yet to decide if it will scrap Roe 8.

The road project, which will extend Roe Highway to Stock Road, together with a new interchange at Stock Road, has been valued at $450 million.

Transport Minister Bill Marmion recently released contracts for the project in Parliament.

WA Labor has sought legal advice over ramifications for terminating the contract, but it remains unclear if the party will scrap the project if elected at the March election.

The party’s Transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said that call was made more difficult because “pages and pages” were missing from the contracts supplied.

“Based on the redacted version of the contract, we are getting legal advice to inform us on how we can negotiate out of the contract,” she said.

“The fact remains, the Government should have never signed the contract so close to the election.

“We call on the Government to release the amended contract immediately and in full.”

Ms Saffioti said Labor “do not want to build the road”.

“The road does not form part of our plans for freight and trade for the metropolitan area,” she said.

Mr Marmion said the “parliamentary disclosure of the Roe 8 documentation demonstrates the Government’s confidence in the procurement process”.

“We are committed to delivering the project to reduce congestion, enhance freight efficiency and improve safety outcomes for road users in Perth’s southern suburbs,” he said.

“The Opposition have been playing politics with this project since day one, rather than taking the time to understand the many benefits this project will bring to the lives of West Australians.”

He said activity on site is likely to begin before the year is out.

THE WA Auditor General will consider investigating the State Government’s decision to build Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link (PFL), following a request from Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren.

Acting Auditor General Glen Clarke, responding to Ms MacLaren’s appeal, acknowledged the interest around the issue.

“Accordingly, I have instructed our performance unit to include this issue in our topic data base for consideration at our upcoming topic selection meeting,” he said.

While nothing is promised, with the topic to be assessed against a range of criteria to see if it qualifies for investigation, Ms MacLaren welcomed the news.

“As many people in the southern suburbs are aware, there is a marked likeness between the PFL and the disastrous decision to build the East West Link in Melbourne, which was criticised severely by the Victorian Auditor General,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the Auditor General’s office said the next topic selection meeting was likely in late November or December, although there was no set date.

“When the Office undertakes an audit, the audit report would generally include recommendations,” she said.

“But the Auditor General has no executive authority to require government to implement any of his recommendations.

“His role is essentially to provide independent advice to Parliament.”

When asked about Ms MacLaren’s request, Transport Minister Bill Marmion said: “The Government is proceeding with Roe 8 in a timely and orderly manner”.