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Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
Bill Shorten will commit $1 billion to the part-funding of WA Labor's Metronet rail project, if elected, while simultaneously pledging to cut all federal support for the Barnett Government's Perth Freight Link.
Mr Shorten made the announcement at a media conference with state Opposition Leader Mark McGowan in Perth, saying it would create jobs and ease congestion.
Last month he pledged to back Metronet if Labor won office, but he had not specified how much money his Government would provide for the fully-integrated rail network.
Labor now says it will contribute $760 million to the project by 2020, and a further $240 million over the following two years.
The funding would be contingent on Infrastructure Australia's approval.
Labor said it would "end the shambles that the Liberals have made of transport planning".
Metronet is the key element of WA Labor's public transport policy, which it will take to the 2017 state election.
Mr McGowan originally presented the Metronet plan at the last state election, when it was estimated to have a total cost of $5.2 billion.
Speaking alongside Mr Shorten on Monday, he said the project would now cost $2.5 billion.
Mr Shorten's federal funding would prioritise planning to build the Morley to Ellenbrook rail line, extend the northern suburbs line to Yanchep, extend the Armadale line to Byford, and start a circle line, linking the Mandurah line to the Thornlie line.
It would also go towards removing "unsafe level crossings that slow traffic" on the Midland, Armadale and Fremantle lines, and build a new station at Karnup on the Mandurah line.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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