Roe 8 supporters have claimed the controversial highway extension is not dead, again fighting to save the project for future construction amid state government plans to permanently delete the road reserve.
Backers of the extension state that Roe 8 will still cut the road’s congestion, with federal Liberal Party MP Ben Morton launching a petition to stop the government’s legislation now in parliament.
In the petition, Mr Morton said that Labor was again selling off a road reserve, reinforcing traffic congestion, pushing cars and trucks onto local roads.
He said there would be less cars on local roads and increased road safety if Roe 8 was built.
“What would happen if Roe8 and Roe9 was built, 7000 trucks per day, 74,000 cars per day will be taken off local roads,” Mr Morton said.
He also said there was a positive environmental impact, with cars no longer needing to travel through 15 sets of traffic lights, saving 450,000 cubic tonnes of emissions.
Mr Morton stated that $1.2 billion of federal funding was still available for the road but the McGowan government refused it.
It could be off the table if federal opposition leader Bill Shorten wins the federal election.
“They should take that money and they should build Roe 8 and Roe 9. But what they’re doing is even worse,” Mr Morton said.
“It is removing the ability to use that road reserve for future transport connections.”
If the legislation was supported, the road reserve would be removed after approximately 50 years of existence.
The former Barnett Liberal Party state government began construction of Roe 8 in late 2016, but work was stopped on March 12, one day after Labor won the state election.
City of Melville mayor Russell Aubrey said there were now more supporters for Roe 8 including his city, which was heavily affected.
“Before I was the only voice in the darkness supported by a few very lone supporters in the City of Melville,” Mr Aubrey said.
“Now it’s growing to other cities and the union’s involvement.”
Roe 8 is “Dead”: Rethink the Link
Rethink the Link coordinator Kim Dravnieks rejected the possibility of Roe 8 being resurrected.
She said the project was dead.
“Their promise was to remove Roe 8 from the MRS, was to start a taskforce on looking at the Kwinana container port, the outer harbour and this is what they’ve done,” Ms Dravnieks said.
She said previous evidence and the removal of environmental approvals still stood.
“The Freedom of Information documents that took two years to get past the Liberal Party both state and federal, we finally got those and they show that there was no business case for this,” she said.
Mr Aubrey believed that the government was fulfilling their election goal but said if the state government would not build the road, the road reserve should be left for a future government to consider.
However, Mr Morton said Roe 8 was still alive.
“If it was dead we wouldn’t be talking about it,” he said.
The legislation is currently under consideration, with Liberal Democrat MP Aaron Stonehouse to make a decision.