The fact that Roe 8 was ‘well planned’ decades ago is not an indicator that it is still relevant. Hunting for whales, spraying insecticides around house blocks and driving without seatbelts were all common practice years ago but are no longer considered acceptable.
If Mr Portelli would deign to read the plethora of scientific reports that have been produced by the State’s Environmental Protection Authority, among other government bodies, over the past 20 years, he would find that report after report has found the ecological, social and heritage values of North and Bibra lakes far outweigh any benefit that could be gained by building the Roe 8 freight transport route.
Mr Portelli’s ‘degraded farmland’ has been listed on the WA Heritage Commission as the most important Noongar heritage site in the south metropolitan area. It is also listed as being more significant than Kings Park as regards its biodiversity.
Roe 8 is a $700 million white elephant that Mains Roads’ own modelling shows will make very little difference to traffic congestion in the long term.
Thankfully, we now have smarter options to traffic congestion such as freight to rail, improved public transport and decentralised work nodes. Thankfully, we care enough about the only wetland suite of its kind left on the Swan Coastal Plain that we can find smarter alternatives to Roe 8.
I invite Mr Portelli to visit North and Bibra lakes, to get out of his car and set foot in our exceptional wetland park. He too will learn how precious it is.