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Almost eight years after promising to create an integrated transport plan for Perth, Western Australia's Transport Minister Dean Nalder says he hopes to release the plan for public comment as soon as possible.
The Barnett Government pledged to begin work on its transport plan within 100 days of coming to office in 2008, but has been repeatedly criticised by the Opposition for what Labor has characterised as its ad hoc approach to transport projects.
The shelved Max Light Rail project, the stalled Perth Freight Link and the abandoned Ellenbrook rail line are all cited by Labor as symptoms of a shambolic approach to transport planning.
But Mr Nalder told a budget estimates hearing the plan was being finalised and would soon be taken to Cabinet for approval.
"We've undertaken two years' worth of research which aligns to the Perth and Peel $3.5 million [strategy]," he said.
He said the research had examined previous reports and updated them with revised population projections.
The plan, prepared by Main Roads and drawing on other agencies including universities, has examined the full spectrum of transport modes, including road, rail and bus.
After approval by Cabinet, Mr Nalder said he would release it to the public.
"What I would like to do is put it out for consultation, not as a final document, but getting further input, engaging with local government, and the community," he said.
Mr Nalder said the plan would provide a foundation for future transport planning, but would remain flexible enough to incorporate changing community demands and new technology.
"My aim is to get that into Cabinet as soon as possible and then out as soon as possible," he said.
Mr Nalder said the plan had cost about $1 million to prepare.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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