Are Labor roe-ing themselves into deep waters?

Liberal is out and Labor is in. What’s next for WA?

Tessa Dempster
August 6, 2017
When you think of Perth, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it our beautiful beaches or great lifestyle - or is it our congestion problem? It was the latter local issue that became the deciding factor in our state election on March 11. Who knew some slow traffic could cause a political power shift?
It was an embarrassing defeat - without question, WA voters booted Barnett out and ended the near decade reign of Liberals in favour of the fresh ideas of Labor. What can we expect from the new leadership? We were promised more jobs, better health services for post-op care, better public transport, a solution to WA’s deficit, no privatisation of western power and what else...? Oh yes, they pledged to stop Roe 8 aka The Perth Freight Link. Arguably it was this election promise alone that prompted the labor party to win by a country mile in the polls.
Labor victory WA election McGowan
Courtesy of SMH

Roe Roe Roe your boat gently down the political stream

State Premier Mark McGowan has had a busy couple of weeks in the wake of his election win. His first act as Premier? Tell the Roe 8 workers NOT to come into work - I think you’ve got it backwards here Labor, you’re supposed to be creating jobs not removing them! His second act was to rip up the contracts for the Perth Freight Link - gotta give Labor props for performance.

Regardless of Labor’s decision to scrap The Link or not, they’ll be hard pressed to redirect the funding from it’s intended project - plans for the greatly anticipated METRONET may be on hold. Federal Government has stuck by its decision to provide financial support for the Roe 8 project and will not grant permission to reallocate the funding elsewhere.The Roe 8 development has already been planned, bought, and paid for - so wouldn’t stopping the project cause even greater debt to WA? How’s that budget book looking McGowan?

perth frieght link protesters
Courtesy of SBS

Think about the link

You may have seen “Rethink the Link” propaganda posted all around the city; however, this is a misnomer. The artful alliteration used by one smart slogoner misdirects from the core issue - the Roe 8 section of the Perth Freight Link. Protesters have been relentless in their attempts to see the Beeliar Wetlands conserved, an area that would be impacted by the Roe 8 portion. Despite numerous studies and various published reports from experts, the Perth public remains unconvinced, resulting in round-the-clock protests and and an ongoing police presence (the Government is footing the bill for the overtime too).

Courtesy of PerthNow

Stuck between a Roe and a hard place.

If Labor reverses its’ decision to stop the controversial project, they’ll lose voters. If they don’t, they’ll lose billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and will be showing disregard for major Australian governing bodies. Labor is supposed to be about the working man (hint - it’s in the name), however the newly elected party is axing job opportunities faster than you can say METRONET. First were the 2000+ potential jobs from Roe 8, and it seems that our international workforce will be second on the chopping block, as Perth is now set to be removed from the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme. Labor stepped up to the plate armed with a plan to make WA great again - will Labor deliver the changes the WA workforce voted for? Only time will tell.

Tessa Dempster

Hi, I'm Tessa. I've lived all over Western Australia getting to sample food, wine, local events and more. I'm merciless when it comes to a long black, love a glass or three of red wine, and can often be found showing off my eccentric but enthusiastic moves whenever there is music playing (shopping centres included). I now document my finds and antics for Perth Underground. Hit me up if you want me to come discover your business! I'd love to pop by for a chat.