Perth train passengers most satisfied rail commuters in Australia: survey
Rail sounds spectator safety alert
Hunter workers in running to build new train fleet
Rail access deal on arbitration track
Manage grain on rail issue: WAFarmers
Growers fear January rail access issues
West Australian rail network operator says state government investment needed to reopen Tier 3 rail freight lines
FMG mulls railway expansion
Western Australia needs a state-wide infrastructure plan to support mining and resources growth, says peak industry body
Historic Golden Mile Loopline Railway from Kalgoorlie to Boulder in WA Goldfields set to live again
The Federal Government is under pressure to use next month’s Budget to inject hundreds of millions of dollars into a string of big infrastructure projects, led by a key part of the new WA Government’s Metronet plan.
The RAC has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison to back the $500 million Thornlie to Cockburn rail link, saying it is the State’s number one transport need.
It came as State Opposition Leader Mike Nahan claimed WA would not receive more than $1 billion that had been set aside for the now abandoned Perth Freight Link project.
To a bemused response from the McGowan Government, Dr Nahan yesterday claimed he had been told the Federal Budget would not include the $1.2 billion that had been earmarked for the PFL.
Dr Nahan cited conversations with a senior “Commonwealth” figure, though refused to name the person involved.
The comments drew a quizzical response from Premier Mark McGowan, who said talks between the State and Federal governments were “progressing” well over reallocating the money.
Under an agreement between the former Barnett government and Federal Coalition, the Commonwealth had agreed to pay $1.2 billion towards the $1.9 billion cost of the PFL.
However, on winning office in March, Mr McGowan immediately followed through on an election promise to ditch the project by tearing up contracts for the Roe 8 first stage.
In a report submitted to the Government in the run-up to the Budget, the RAC said the link would provide significant productivity improvements for commuters in Perth’s southern suburbs, relieve road congestion, better link the area’s workforce to the rest of Perth while also creating a “city-shaping” piece of infrastructure.
The Cockburn to Thornlie rail link. Proposed link in red.Mr Morrison is expected to announce a fresh commitment to major infrastructure projects in the Budget and create an agency to focus on transport projects that enhance or create major economic zones.
With the WA Government ditching the freight link, there is concern within the Federal Government that unless the Budget contains funding for major projects across the State there is a risk Labor could strengthen its political position.
The RAC said without the Thornlie link the threat of congestion clogging up the southern suburbs would grow, undermining the State economy and reducing the quality of life for the area’s hundreds of thousands of residents.
“It is critical that the Government develop and invest in targeted infrastructure programs that together will deliver liveability and productivity outcomes for WA and the nation,” it said.
The Thornlie rail link, for which the McGowan Government plans to finalise a business case by July, was listed by Infrastructure Australia this year as being a “priority initiative” for WA, but it was ranked lower than the now abandoned Freight Link.
Apart from the rail link, the RAC is also pressing Canberra to sink money into so-called “intelligent transport systems” such as self-driving vehicles.
It also wants the Government to revisit a Perth light rail link that would swing from the University of WA campus through the Perth CBD and Victoria Park to Curtin University.
And it believes Canberra should commit cash towards an East Wanneroo rail link that would connect Morley and the northern suburbs.
The RAC ranks upgrading the Roe and Reid highways as the State’s most important road projects alongside an $800 million completion to the Bunbury outer ring.
This article first appeared on thewest.com.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.