Mar 25, 2014

Stubborn Abbott shuns Perth

Tony Abbott is ignoring a rolled-gold opportunity to boost Western Australia’s economic development with his stubborn refusal to fund a passenger train link to the city’s busy airport.

Despite boasting about his government’s commitment to WA, Mr Abbott will strip $500 million out of the Budget earmarked for urban rail projects in Perth, including a passenger link to the Airport and light rail.

The Perth Airport is the nation’s fourth-biggest.

A passenger rail service would ease traffic congestion around the airport, which would drive job-creating productivity gains for the city and the state.

However, Mr Abbott has an ideological aversion to investing in urban rail, insisting it is the responsibility of cash-strapped state governments.

Mr Abbott is putting his own absurd ideology ahead of job-creation and economic development in WA.

Every economist in the nation knows that public transport lifts urban productivity.

But Mr Abbott is as stubborn as a mule on public transport and is prepared to turn his back on economic development.

Perth is a first-rate international city and it deserves a first-rate public transport system.

WA has been an economic powerhouse of the Australian economy growth for years and Mr Abbott should give something back to the state by investing in the critical infrastructure that will drive new waves of prosperity.