Aug 4, 2016

Coalition must heed election message and fund METRONET

Malcolm Turnbull should scrap his commitment to build the Perth Freight Link and instead invest in the METRONET public transport project.

The decline in support for the Government at the July 2 election should send the Prime Minister a clear message that Australians want a government focused on their need for basic services including health, education and public transport.

Mr Turnbull should heed that message and respond by dumping the flawed Perth Freight Link toll road and working with the WA State Government to deliver the METRONET.

During the election campaign Labor proposed investing $1 billion in the project to 2022.

The Turnbull Government offered no new investment in public transport.

This was despite the fact that Infrastructure Australia has warned that traffic congestion will cost the nation $53 billion a year in lost productivity by 2031 without action now.

Infrastructure Australia has also included work on Perth public transport on its national infrastructure priority list.

Investing in public transport to ease traffic congestion would be far wiser than building the Perth Freight Link, given that the Fremantle Harbour is expected to reach full capacity within a decade.

It makes more sense to work toward the development of the Kwinana Outer Harbour as the long-term solution to Perth’s maritime freight requirements.