Barging Barnett above the law in Wild West

Published on Mon 5 December 2016 3:53pm

Federal Labor Member for Fremantle, Josh Wilson MP, today slammed the irresponsible Western Australian state government for starting works on the Roe 8 Highway despite a challenge pending in the High Court of Australia.

“The decision to start work now is totally unnecessary and totally ridiculous.

It is a cynical, political manoeuvre in the shadow of an election with a High Court decision pending that could invalidate the Barnett government’s dodgy environmental approval.

 The Roe 8 project presents a tipping point in the life of our community— it is a once-in-a-generation, landscape-changing decision. We are being taken to the brink of a terrible folly by a government that has not bothered to follow one single piece of good process. It has no election mandate; there is no cost-benefit analysis that has been produced on a comparative basis; no comprehensive freight and transport plan; no traffic modelling and no legitimate environmental approval.

 The EPA has a very clear and sensible policy which says that you can only use environmental offsets to make up for damage caused by a project in some circumstances, and you absolutely cannot use offsets to get environmental approval for damage to an environment or ecosystem that is of very substantial and significant value—and that is clearly the case with the Beeliar Wetlands.

 The WA Barnett Government has shown its recklessness and lack of care for the community and for taxpayer funds by already signing the Roe 8 project contracts and starting works when the High Court may well yet rule that the environmental approval by the EPA is invalid.

 I look forward to the High Court’s consideration of this critical issue, and I pay tribute to the unflinching resolve of Save Beeliar Wetlands and their thousands of community supporters.”

Barging Barnett above the law in Wild West

Federal Labor Member for Fremantle, Josh Wilson MP, today slammed the irresponsible Western Australian state government for starting works on the Roe 8 Highway despite a challenge pending in the High Court of Australia.

“The decision to start work now is totally unnecessary and totally ridiculous.

It is a cynical, political manoeuvre in the shadow of an election with a High Court decision pending that could invalidate the Barnett government’s dodgy environmental approval.

The Roe 8 project presents a tipping point in the life of our community— it is a once-in-a-generation, landscape-changing decision. We are being taken to the brink of a terrible folly by a government that has not bothered to follow one single piece of good process. It has no election mandate; there is no cost-benefit analysis that has been produced on a comparative basis; no comprehensive freight and transport plan; no traffic modelling and no legitimate environmental approval.

The EPA has a very clear and sensible policy which says that you can only use environmental offsets to make up for damage caused by a project in some circumstances, and you absolutely cannot use offsets to get environmental approval for damage to an environment or ecosystem that is of very substantial and significant value—and that is clearly the case with the Beeliar Wetlands.

The WA Barnett Government has shown its recklessness and lack of care for the community and for taxpayer funds by already signing the Roe 8 project contracts and starting works when the High Court may well yet rule that the environmental approval by the EPA is invalid.

I look forward to the High Court’s consideration of this critical issue, and I pay tribute to the unflinching resolve of Save Beeliar Wetlands and their thousands of community supporters.”

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