Feb 7, 2014

Government must rethink cuts to WA infrastructure

Important road projects for Western Australia re-announced by the Abbott  Government yesterday were funded by the previous Labor Government.

Our 2013-14 Budget included nearly $500 million in funding for upgrades of the Great Northern Highway (Muchea to Wubin) and the North West Coastal Highway (Minilya to Barradale).

The Coalition allocated no money to these projects in its pre-election economic statement.

I am pleased that pressure by the Labor Party since the election has embarrassed the Government into not cutting allocations for these important Labor-funded projects.

The Government should now reinstate $500 million in fully funded Labor investments in urban rail public transport for Perth to help lift the city’s economic productivity and create jobs.

While Tony Abbott has insisted states should pay for rail projects, the WA Government made clear when releasing its recent budget update that it could not deliver these projects without commonwealth contributions.

Today’s Urban Transport Strategy released by Infrastructure Australia reinforces the need for this investment, calling for commonwealth leadership on properly integrated transport planning in our cities.