The State Government will appeal the Supreme Court decision, which found the Environmental Protection Authority assessment of the Roe 8 project was invalid and will request a reassessment.
In December Chief Justice Martin concluded the EPA did not take into account its own policies when approving the project, which runs through the environmentally sensitive Beeliar wetlands.
Premier Colin Barnett today said the government will appeal the ruling, given the broader implications of the decision on future development in the state.
“An appeal is necessary to provide clarity for assessment and approval processes undertaken by State agencies and local governments,” he said.
“The decision to appeal is based on advice from the state solicitor’s office that it considers there are valid grounds to support an appeal.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is likely to have implications more broadly for government decision-making.
“The decision’s importance extends beyond just Roe 8; it is an important one for all of government because it deals with the question of when a government policy becomes a mandatory relevant consideration for decision-making.”
Mr Barnett said the state will request a reassessment of the Roe 8 project to ensure it went ahead with all the necessary environmental approvals in place.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said an appeal would be filed at the earliest practicable opportunity.
“The EPA will decide how the assessment will proceed,” he said.
“However the EPA has advised me that it proposes the reassessment will be undertaken by the new chairman and delegates, who are yet to be appointed.”
Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said the government would waste more money appealing the decision.
“The Chief Justice ruled they have to refer to their own policies, why keep going back to court? Why not just follow government policy?” she said.
She also questioned the decision to reassess the project.
“It’s not surprising that the Minister for the Environment announced a new EPA assessment for the Roe Highway stage 8 extension since that seems to be the only transport plan, discredited as it is, that the Barnett government have,” she said.
“Any observer would know by now that Roe 8 is environmentally and socially unacceptable, costly, and an inadequate solution to our transport problems.
“There are no offsets that would make Roe 8 environmentally acceptable.”