Cockburn Gazette - - OPINION -

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

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