ROE TO RUINS
ON October 13, the ALP publicly urged the Barnett government to release the contract it had signed in relation to building Roe 8 in the name of being open and accountable.
A week later, the government released the contract. Despite this, the ALP have continued to be vague about what they would do about this expensive, traffic snarl-inducing proposal if they win government in March.
The Greens have looked at the contract and sought informal advice from people who routinely work on these types of contracts in the construction industry.
The advice is the terms are not punitive in regards to termination: the terms allow for ‘no fault’ terminations with the price of doing so only being the costs incurred at that point.
This confirms answers the government gave when I questioned it in September about the costs if a future government tore up the contracts.
The government claims that on-ground work for Roe 8 will begin in December.
But stacked against this happening is continuing legal challenges; well-organised, broad community opposition and the fact construction cannot begin until a wide range of environmental and other conditions of approval are met.
Meanwhile, Christmas marks the start of a traditional summer slow-down in the construction industry.
In short, any costs incurred by the time the election occurs in March are not likely to be overwhelming.
The time for ALP fence-sitting has passed. The Greens’ position is clear. Irrespective of who forms government in 2017, the Greens will work hard to ensure this costly road to nowhere does not proceed.
LYN MCLAREN, South Metropolitan Region MLC