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Fence to go up before Roe 8 court decision

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016

Fencing will be erected for the controversial Roe 8 highway extension this week despite protesters still waiting for a High Court decision against the project.

SaveBeeliarWetlands was told in a legal letter on Friday that temporary fencing in Perth's south would be set up on Monday and substantive works would commence shortly thereafter.

Group convenor Kate Kelly told AAP on Sunday that undertakinganywork while thelegalcase was soclosetobeing resolvedwasunnecessaryandprovocative.

"I guess the government has had advice that they can start these works, but we will be looking at any legal pathways that are available to us to put a stay on construction," she said.

BirdlifeAustralia'sAdamPeck says he hasdiscovereda nestingpopulationof rainbow bee eaters, which are protectedmigratorybirds not identifiedbythe fauna management plan.

Ms Kelly said even erecting some fencing would impede the ability to monitor the nesting birds.

Transport minister Bill Marmion said signage and fencing had to go up before further construction started later this month.

Campaigners plan to peacefullyprotest on Monday and Mr Marmion said they were free to do so but warned they must obey the law.

"We don't want people slowing down the contractor - they have a right to build," he told reporters.

"They'll have access to the site and as long as the protesters are peaceful and obey the law then that's fine."

Premier Colin Barnett has continued to insist the 5km extension will reduce congestion and improve road safety and freight efficiency.

Labor has promised to axe the $1.9 billion Perth Freight Link if it wins the March election, but has stopped short of saying it will tear up contracts.

Transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said the state government's decision to begin the work this week was extraordinary and reckless.

"It again shows they have contempt for the the public and contempt for our legal processes," she told reporters.

"At the very least, they need to hear exactly what happens in respect of the high court challenge."

Save Beeliar Wetlands last year successfully appealed the Environmental Protection Authority approval for Roe 8, with Chief Justice Wayne Martin saying the EPA "took no account of its own published policies" when it gave the green light.

But the judgment was overturned after the state appealed, successfully arguing the policies were merely guidelines.

Activists have raised more than $51,000 via crowd funding to pay for their continued legal fight.

The case will go to the High Court on December 16 for a special leave to appeal hearing, where it will be decided if a full hearing will proceed.

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