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THE Turnbull Government is working on a multi-billion-dollar road and rail funding blitz for WA, targeting key marginal seats as part of its bid to cling to power.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has held key talks with the WA Government over projects to fund in next year’s Federal Budget.
WA Senator Mathias Cormann.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has given him a list of 20 projects she wants considered for funding.
Liberals, headed by Pearce MHR Christian Porter, have also handed Senator Cormann their own lists of projects they believe should be included, with major spends earmarked for crucial seats such as Pearce, Canning, Hasluck and Forrest.
Both Ms Saffioti and Mr Porter are demanding the Federal Government fund the Morley-to-Ellenbrook train line.
Influential Perth businessman Nigel Satterley also confirmed that he had provided Senator Cormann with a further two wish lists of infrastructure projects, after consultation with WA’s “business community”.
“We are working on a third list to give to him. They are just ideas for (Senator Cormann) to look at,” Mr Satterley said.
Liberal sources claim the Turnbull Government is highly likely to provide Ms Saffioti and WA Premier Mark McGowan with hundreds of millions of dollars to build the Morley-to-Ellenbrook rail line.
They also said Senator Cormann had privately acknowledged that politically, his Government had to stump up the cash because Ellenbrook was is in Mr Porter’s potentially election-deciding seat of Pearce.
Other projects being considered include:
Mr Turnbull is desperate to hang on to his 11 Federal WA seats at the next election.
Labor Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has already pledged $700 million for the Ellenbrook line, if he becomes PM.
With WA’s GST position not expected to improve for at least three years, Liberal sources said Mr Turnbull had to co-operate with WA Labor.
This article first appeared on www.perthnow.com.au
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