Jul 23, 2018

Media Release – By-elections Offer Chance to Send Turnbull Government a Message on Infrastructure – Monday, 23 July, 2018

By supporting Labor’s Patrick Gorman and Josh Wilson at this Saturday’s by-elections in the electorates of Perth and Fremantle voters can send Malcolm Turnbull a message that he must immediately reverse his cuts to Federal investment in Western Australia’s infrastructure.

This year’s Budget Papers revealed that over the next four years, the Turnbull Government plans to cut the amount of Federal infrastructure grants going to WA by two thirds, from $1.2 billion to $411 million.

And while the Government did commit to a number of new projects in the 2018 Budget, more than half of the funding for those projects won’t flow until 2022-23 at the earliest.

In other words, West Australians would have to re-elect Malcolm Turnbull not once, but twice more before he will deliver the investment needed to tackle Perth’s worsening traffic congestion.

Investment on the Never-Never is not good enough.

In the absence of a sustained investment in Perth’s road and public transport infrastructure, the annual cost of traffic congestion will increase substantially over the coming decades.

That’s why Federal Labor has already committed to delivering a range of transformative projects.

This includes $700 million to build the Morley to Ellenbrook rail line, a key component of the METRONET project. That’s $200 million more than what Mr Turnbull is offering.

We are also committed to work with the McGowan Labor Government to deliver, as soon as possible, other METRONET projects, including the Byford Line Extension and the Midland Station and Bellevue Extension.

In addition, we will upgrade the City’s road network with projects such as the Leach Highway-Welshpool Road Intersection Upgrade, Mitchell Freeway Extension, Stephenson Road Extension, and Tonkin Highway Extension.

In this Saturday’s by-elections, the choice is clear.  A vote for Josh Wilson in Fremantle and Patrick Gorman in Perth will make Malcolm Turnbull understand that his cuts are unacceptable and his Government needs to invest in the infrastructure that will make Perth an even more productive, sustainable and liveable city.

The long-term national interest demands nothing less.