Malcom Turnbull has laid bare the fiction behind his claimed enthusiasm for public transport with his pathetic threat to sink WA Labor’s plan to build the much-needed Perth METRONET.
The Prime Minister’s threat to block this badly needed public transport project is a slap in the face for long-suffering Perth commuters who face increased gridlock on the city’s roads.
Instead he insists Commonwealth funding is available only for the Perth Freight Link – a dud toll road through the sensitive Beeliar Wetlands that would stop 3km short of the Fremantle Port.
It was clear in Question Time this week that neither the Prime Minister nor Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester knew that the Freight Link project doesn’t even go to the port.
Mr Turnbull’s hardball tactics expose the hollow nature of his claimed desire to improve public transport.
He needs to stop taking selfies on trains and actually invest in trains.
Infrastructure Australia has warned that without investment now traffic congestion will cost the nation $53 billion a year by 2031.
METRONET will not only improve the quality of life of Perth commuters, but will also unlock productivity gains that will unleash future waves of economic and jobs growth.
The Federal Coalition announced funding for the Perth Freight Link in its 2014 Budget without and planning or cost-benefit analysis and has committed public funding despite the fact it will not even take trucks to the port.
It’s a classic case of not getting the planning right.
Mr Turnbull is now compounding this error by championing this dud project to rescue the flailing Barnett State Government in next month’s WA election.
WA voters should treat his standover tactic with the contempt it deserves.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.