Jul 25, 2017

Perth Citylink sets the standard

Today I inspected the Perth Citylink project – an exemplar for public transport investment in our cities which proves the importance of inter-governmental co-operation on major infrastructure projects.

The former Federal Labor Government invested $236 million in the project to link the CBD with Northbridge, working closely with the WA State Government.

We also invested in other road and rail projects including NorthLink (formerly known as the Swan Valley Bypass), Gateway WA, the Great Eastern Highway upgrade, Muchea to Wubin upgrades and the Great Northern Highway, North West Coastal Highway and Bunbury and Esperance upgrades.

This co-operation is in stark contrast to the Federal Coalition Government, which has spent too long working against the WA Government.

I was pleased to tour the new underground bus station today with the Minister for Transport, Rita Saffioti.

With our cities growing strongly, governments must invest in public transport.

Infrastructure Australia has said that traffic congestion will cost the nation $53 billion a year in lost productivity by 2031 without action now. In Perth alone, the cost of delays in urban transport will blow out from $2 billion in 2011 to $16 billion by 2031.

Yet recent analysis of the 2017 Budget by the Parliamentary Budget Office found Commonwealth investment in infrastructure expressed as a percentage of GDP will halve in the next decade from 0.4 per cent to 0.2 per cent.

After years of cuts and inaction the Federal Government must lift infrastructure investment to boost productivity and drive economic and jobs growth.

This is a particularly important in WA as the economy continues its transition out of the investment stage of the mining boom.