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Ellenbrook and Yanchep will have new rail services to Perth by 2023 under WA Labor's $2.5 billion Metronet proposal to massively expand the city's public rail system.
Labor today unveiled its costing and funding arrangements for the project, which say the first stage of Metronet will take six years to build, cost $2.535 billion and create 10,480 jobs.
Metronet is the centrepiece of Labor's election strategy, with Labor leader Mark McGowan arguing it will expand and improve public rail services, ease congestion on the roads, and boost employment in a state reeling from the end of the mining construction boom.
"Our promises are affordable and achievable. Under Labor we doubled the size of the metropolitan rail network the last time we were in office, and we did it in five years," Mr McGowan said.
"Our city is growing. Our population is growing. I don't want our city to choke in the future."
New stations, removal of level crossings promisedDrawing on a range of state, federal and private funding sources, Labor told reporters it believed it had insulated the project from any single financial risk.
It has contrasted its costing approach with the infrastructure program promised by the Barnett Government, which hinges on the part-sale of power utility Western Power.
Labor transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said unlike the Barnett Government's discredited "fully-costed, fully-funded" claims about projects like Max Light Rail at the last election, Labor had subjected Metronet to rigorous financial analysis.
"We believe we can do it within that six-year time frame and we believe we can do it without impacting net debt," she said.
The 21-kilometre Morley-Ellenbrook line will cost $863 million, while extending the Joondalup line 14 kilometres to Yanchep will cost $386 million.
A new 17.5-kilometre line from Cockburn to Thornlie will be completed at a cost of $474 million, and Labor would also extend the Armadale line by 7.5 kilometres to Byford at a cost of $291 million.
The first stage would also include two new stations at $144 million, the removal of four level crossings at $257 million, and improved signalling at $120 million.
Roe 8 funds to be reallocatedLabor plans to use $1 billion in State Government funds for the project, as well as $486 million already allocated by the State Government to the Roe 8 project.
[color=#000000][size=1]PHOTO:[/size][/color] The first stage of Metronet would be be built by 2023, Labor says. (WA Labor)
It would generate $667 million from sales of State-owned land, and $267 million from private enterprise through developer contributions and increased land values.
Labor has allocated just over one third of the $1.2 billion in Commonwealth funding already committed to the Perth Freight Link, estimating it will seek to reallocate $416 million in federal funding for Metronet, and the balance for other projects.
Federal Liberal MPs have already warned WA Labor that Commonwealth money can only be used for the freight link project, but Labor leader Mark McGowan has dismissed those warnings as idle threats.
"This project will go ahead. We will ensure that it happens and we will ensure that the federal money comes into this project, and a range of other rail and road projects across Western Australia," he said.
Treasurer rubbishes Labor's 'fake' fundingBut Treasurer Mike Nahan disputed Labor's costings and said the project would add $2.4 billion to state debt.
He said Treasury costings of Labor's Metronet proposal put the cost at up to $9.8 billion, describing Labor's costings as "fake" funding.
Dr Nahan also rejected Labor's claim it would be able to reallocate $416 million in Commonwealth funding currently committed to Roe 8.
"That is the Commonwealth contribution from Perth Freight Link. That will not arrive. They know it. Treasury knows it," he said.
He said Labor was projecting land sales of $677 million, but the Government's own land sales program had so far yielded just $147 million, well below the target of $268 million.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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