The extension of Roe Highway (Roe 8) is a key development in the
Perth Freight Link project. The Environmental Protection Authority
(EPA) recommended the approval of the proposal by Main Roads
Western Australia (Main Roads) which has come under fire from
conservation and community groups concerned about the environmental
impacts which will be caused by the Roe 8 extension.
Of the 165 appeals lodged against the findings of the EPA
Report, the WA Minister for Environment upheld seven in part by
amending some EPA conditions and including new ones as it was his
view that the EPA had adequately addressed key environmental
factors in its assessment. That decision has been the subject of
protest and the instituting of proceedings for judicial review in
the Supreme Court of Western Australia.
PERTH FREIGHT LINK PROJECT
The Perth Freight Link is the largest road infrastructure
project to take place in WA. The $1.6 billion project is jointly
funded by the Commonwealth and State governments. The project will
create a strategic link in the Perth road network, allowing
north-south traffic to bypass the Perth CBD and inner suburbs. Roe
8 is the first stage which involves a 5.2km extension of Roe
ROE 8 RECEIVES CONDITIONAL APPROVAL
On 13 September 2013, the EPA Report to the WA Minister for
Environment recommended conditional approval for Roe 8.
165 appeals were lodged against the findings of the EPA Report.
The majority of appeals called for the Minister to remit the
proposal back to the EPA for reconsideration, or for the proposal
not to go ahead at all.
On 2 July 2015, the WA Minister for Environment gave conditional
approval for Roe 8. The Minister allowed seven of the 11 appeal
grounds in part by strengthening some of the conditions recommended
in the EPA Report and adding new conditions, such as:
the implementation of a Construction Environmental Management
investigation of the need for noise barriers; and
measures for translocating the Southern Brown Bandicoot and
On 22 October 2015, the Commonwealth Government gave conditional
approval after it considered the proposal in the context of the
Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
1999 (Cth), which focuses on the protection of matters of
national environmental significance.
COMMUNITY CHALLENGE TO ROE 8
On 10 September 2015, an application was lodged in the WA
Supreme Court for judicial review of the Roe 8 approval, which
included allegations of :
conflict of interest and bias;
failure to consider alternative road alignments and 'no
build' options; and
failure to properly apply EPA policy regarding environmental
The Australian Greens called on the Commonwealth Minister for
the Environment to suspend his assessment of Roe 8 until the WA
judicial review is complete. Senator Scott Ludlam warned that a
Commonwealth assessment based on 'the same flawed information
... as the [WA] state assessment' would expose the Commonwealth
to a lengthy and costly judicial review on the same grounds as
those contained in the WA proceedings.
WATCH THIS SPACE
On 27 October 2015, angry protestors attended a meeting when the
Premier of WA, Colin Barnett and the Minister for Transport, Dean
Nalder announced the preferred contractor for Roe 8.
Conservationists and residents threatened to block construction
work, which it was announced that day, would commence in early
The main issues raised by protestors is in respect to:
clearing of native vegetation and wetlands;
loss of foraging habitat and potential nesting habitat for the
Black Cockatoo; and
The article is a review of recent developments in compliance, enforcement and prosecutions relating to environmental law.
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