The vast majority of West Australians believe Roe 8 should stop being used as a political football and should be independently assessed.

This is the result of polling of 920 West Australians conducted by Patterson Research Group on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI), which has revealed that almost three-quarters (72%) of West Australians believe the decision to build Roe 8 should be based on advice from independent experts, not politicians.

This backs CCI’s recent call with Western Roads Federation for the politics to be taken out of Roe 8 and Roe 9 by referring this major infrastructure project to Infrastructure WA as a priority.

Now that almost three-quarters of West Australians have said they want this project to be independently assessed, the State Government must be asked to justify why they won’t refer it to the independent body they created.

CCI continues to be a strong supporter of this project progressing to provide critical relief from road congestion, boost productivity for businesses across the metropolitan area and improve safety outcomes for commuters by diverting more large freight vehicles off suburban roads.

Despite our ongoing support for Roe 8 and Roe 9 progressing, we recognise that a circuit breaker is required. Infrastructure WA was established to help take the politics out of how our State’s infrastructure needs are prioritised and support more robust decision-making.

This is critical because Roe 8 and Roe 9 were not assessed as part of Westport’s planning scope due to the State Government’s removal of this project from its infrastructure planning.

Congestion in Fremantle isn’t caused by trucks, which only account for around 10 per cent of total traffic. It’s caused by passenger vehicle trips. According to Infrastructure Australia’s 2019 Audit, by 2031, Fremantle residents will only be able to access between 15-20 per cent of all jobs in Greater Perth within 30 minutes by car during morning peak traffic.

This means that even if the State Government progresses with Westport’s recommendation to shift Perth’s port from Fremantle to Kwinana, it will still need to fix Fremantle’s road congestion issues. Only 16 per cent of West Australians believe Roe 8 won’t improve congestion issues.

Infrastructure WA is the appropriate, independent body to comprehensively assess these projects, not politicians. It’s time that politics are put aside, and Roe 8 and Roe 9 are referred to Infrastructure WA as a priority.