Labor yesterday accused the State Government of deliberately stalling on the controversial extension of Roe Highway to avoid scrutiny before the March election.
The Roe 8 extension was a Liberal election pledge in 2008 and a decision on it was due early this year. But that decision has been pushed back until after the election.
Environmentalists oppose the extension because it will cross sensitive Beeliar wetlands.
The project is a politically explosive issue in many southern suburb electorates, including the marginal seats of Jandakot and Riverton, which the Liberals hold by 1.8 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.
The Barnett Government's Budget in 2009-10 costed the project at $551 million, with $166 million to be spent to the end of 2012-13.
But last year's State Budget showed only $20 million had been spent so far with no money allocated in the years to 2015-16.
At the time, Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the Government was awaiting the outcome of an Environmental Protection Authority review, expected late last year or early this year, before making a final investment decision.
But the environmental watchdog revealed yesterday it was waiting on South Metro Connect - an alliance between Main Roads and private firm AECOM, the proponents behind Roe 8 - which must submit a report to the EPA responding to public submissions from 2011.
Last May, SMC stated it would lodge the report by mid-2012 with final clearances for the construction phase expected in early 2013.
But last month stakeholders were advised by the Government that an outcome on the project would not be known until mid-2013.
Shadow transport minister Ken Travers said the Government was intentionally stalling the process.
"They are deliberately delaying this to cover up their broken promises because the reality is, they don't have any money to build Roe 8 - it's not in the Budget."
Mr Buswell said the SMC had provided a draft response to the EPA by July 2012. He said a robust environment approval was needed.
An EPA spokeswoman said the draft proposal was not adequate and a list of issues to be addressed had been sent back to the SMC.She said the authority could not assess the application until a formal report was lodged.
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