PREMIER Colin Barnett has said contracts will be signed this week to ensure construction of the Roe 8 project, despite the prospect of a High Court challenge.
Roe 8 has been the subject of protests from environmental groups concerned about the impact the 5km extension of Roe Highway, from the Kwinana Freeway intersection to Stock Road, would have on Beeliar Wetlands.
In August the Save Beeliar Wetlands group filed an application to challenge Roe 8’s environmental approvals in the High Court.
Although still waiting for that decision, Mr Barnett said the group’s legal avenues had been “exhausted”.
“They say they’re going to go to the High Court. Well they can try, but our advice is that is unlikely to be accepted by the High Court,” Mr Barnett told reporters on Tuesday.
“And even if the High Court does accept it, it is very unlikely to succeed.
“We don’t see any risk, and we’ve looked at it very carefully.
“This is just a normal road construction contract.
“It’s a big project, it’s a complex project because it goes through a wetland area, otherwise it’s no different from any other highway or freeway project.”
Roe 8 will cost $450 million, $340 million for the extension of Roe Highway from Kwinana Freeway to Coolbellup Avenue.
The Roe Highway/Stock Road interchange has an estimated additional cost of about $110 million.
Contracts, involving a consortium of CPB Contractors, Georgiou, WA Limestone, GHD, AECOM and BG&E, are expected to be signed this week.
The project is expected to be completed in 2020.
Transport Minister Bill Marmion said the project would adhere to strictest of environmental guidelines, and batted away the question of what might happen should the High Court challenge be successful.
“That’s a hypothetical,” he said.
“The legal advice I’ve got is that we’re on very good, strong ground.
“This project has State and Commonwealth environmental approvals and will be delivered under strict environmental conditions and regulations,” the Minister said.
“It will also create between 400 and 500 direct jobs and thousands of indirect job opportunities during construction.”