Community to challenge Roe8 highway environmental approval in Supreme Court

The Save Beeliar Wetlands Community group has today lodged an application with the WA Supreme Court seeking judicial review of the environmental approval for the proposed Roe Highway extension, the first section of the controversial Perth Freight Link. 

This legal action is the latest setback for the project which stretches from Kwinana Fwy to Marmion St in East Fremantle. The Barnett Government has previously claimed that the assessments on Roe 8 were all but completed and the project was ‘shovel ready’. WA Minister for the Environmental Albert Jacob announced the state environmental approval on Roe 8 in July 2015 however Commonwealth environmental approval for the project is still pending.

Documents lodged with the Supreme Court by the Environmental Defenders Office on behalf of SBW and an affected landholder seek to rule out the Environmental Protection Authority’s recommendation for approval for the project.

Save Beeliar Wetlands Chair Kate Kelly said “The EPA has not carried out its central purpose on Roe 8 which is to protect the environment. It has been left to the community and groups like ours to hold Main Roads and the Government to account over this destructive proposal.”

“We have attempted many times to raise issues with the EPA through our submissions, meetings and our appeals. This legal action is one of our last options to hold the EPA and the State Government to account over its poor decisions and processes.”

“The Save Beeliar Wetlands campaign group has consistently indicated that there were issues with the environmental assessment on Roe 8 and the group is committed to enacting every legal means of stopping this ill considered and unnecessary road”

“There is evidence that there has been conflicts of interests at the EPA board level. There are also serious issues with the provision of offsets and the lack of review of alternatives to this project.”

Conservation Council Director Piers Verstegen said “If it were to go ahead, the Roe Highway proposal will do immeasurable damage to one of the most important environmental and cultural sites in the metropolitan area.”

“Thousands of Western Australians including scientists, transport experts, lawyers and Traditional Owners have conclusively shown that the Roe8 project is a very bad idea, yet the State Government have allowed a flawed assessment process to ignore those concerns.

 “The decision-making process for this project has been deeply flawed from the very beginning and once again it has come down to the community to hold government to account and to protect our environment.

“This legal challenge seeks to uphold and restore EPA’s function to protect the environment, rather than acting as rubber stamp for the governments ill-conceived, unpopular and environmentally destructive projects.”

Comment: Kate Kelly – 0424497653, Piers Verstegen – 0411 557 892