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A STATE Government promise to build a rail line to Ellenbrook was never viable, new information shows.
It has been revealed in State Parliament the Ellenbrook rail link catchment area would not have the necessary population to make an expansion of the rail network practicable for at least two decades.
Alyssa Hayden, Liberal member for the East Metropolitan Region, told Parliament the Public Transport in Perth in 2031 Plan showed expenditure on the Ellenbrook rail link could not be justified – either on existing or forecast population growth.
She said the rail line’s projected cost of between $630 million and $1.1 billion – depending on the route chosen – together with low forecasts for commuter usage would result in a cost to WA taxpayers of $550,000 per passenger.
“It is $1.1 billion divided by 2000 – the estimate of the number of people who will use the train line from Ellenbrook in 19 years – which is a cost of $550,000 each. That is an expensive train ticket,” she told Parliament.
She said based on the study’s major indicators, “a rail line should not be built, but that public transport should be based on an enhanced bus system”.
Ms Hayden said if the cost and patronage figures were explained to Ellenbrook residents, “they too would come up with the same scenario as this report has and as we, in Government, have.”
“Allocating $1.1 billion to cater for 2000 people is not good governance and it is not what the community expects from the carers of our State,” she said.
This article first appeared on www.inmycommunity.com.au
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