No thank you to signs

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Bryce Luff

CALLS have been made to the City of Cock­burn to re­move ratepayer-funded bill­boards thank­ing La­bor for fund­ing the Ar­madale Road Bridge.

THERE have been calls for the City of Cock­burn to scrap ratepayer-funded bill­boards thank­ing La­bor for fund­ing the Ar­madale Road Bridge.

Fol­low­ing La­bor’s State Elec­tion win in March, the City re­skinned seven of its per­ma­nent bill­boards with the mes­sage: “Thank you WA La­bor for fund­ing Ar­madale Road Bridge”.

The mes­sage re­lates to La­bor’s pre-elec­tion pledge to halt Roe 8 and di­vert fund­ing to the $166 mil­lion fly­over join­ing Ar­madale Road to North Lake Road if it won gov­ern­ment.

The boards cost ratepay­ers $4485 to change.

Cock­burn coun­cil­lor Steve Portelli, a pro-Roe 8 sup­porter of the fly­over bridge, said he had been in­un­dated by res­i­dents who be­lieved the signs were a waste of money.

He has sub­mit­ted a “mo­tion of an ur­gent na­ture” to have the mat­ter con­sid­ered by the City at its next or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing.

“I’ve also called for sim­i­lar mes­sages on the City’s web­site (‘Well done Cock­burn – you stopped Roe 8’) to be taken down too,” he said.

“A letter to the McGowan Gov­ern­ment would have been more ap­pro­pri­ate and a lot less costly.”

Cr Portelli said the boards were a “po­lit­i­cal state­ment in­gra­ti­at­ing (the City) to a po­lit­i­cal party”.

While also in favour of the fly­over, Build Roe 8 Save Our Sub­urbs mem­ber Steve Green­wood said the coun­cil should re­main po­lit­i­cally neu­tral.

“Any­thing that is get­ting rid of con­ges­tion I’m in favour of,” he said.

“I’m just not in favour of po­lit­i­cal pos­tur­ing like that. It’s wrong.”

The pro­ject is yet to be of­fi­cially funded, although the City hopes to learn more when it meets with the State Gov­ern­ment next week

A pre­vi­ous meet­ing sched­uled for March 30 was resched­uled.

Cock­burn chief ex­ec­u­tive Stephen Cain said the signs were a re­minder to the Gov­ern­ment that it had a prom­ise to keep.

“The bill­boards are part of the joint Com­mu­nity Con­nect South cam­paign with the City of Ar­madale which has been on­go­ing since 2015, the aim of which was to lobby for gov­ern­ment fund­ing to du­pli­cate Ar­madale Road and build the Ar­madale Road bridge,” he said.

“Fol­low­ing the State Elec­tion, our City is keen to re­mind the new gov­ern­ment of the com­mit­ment Mark McGowan made on Jan­uary 4 to build the $166 mil­lion Ar­madale Road Bridge.

“At the time, Mr McGowan also pro­posed to bring for­ward the $145 mil­lion fund­ing for the Ar­madale Road dual car­riage­way, plus a pub­lic tran­sit cor­ri­dor, between An­stey Road and Tap­per Road.”

A spokesman for Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti said the fly­over bridge would re­duce con­ges­tion on lo­cal roads. “The scope and tim­ing of the pro­ject will be an­nounced once the rene­go­ti­a­tion process with the Roe 8 con­trac­tor is com­plete,” he said.

Cock­burn coun­cil­lor Steve Portelli with Build Roe 8 - Save Our Sub­urbs mem­bers.

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