Wednesday, 13 September 2017

State Budget: The METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line on track

  • The McGowan Government gets on with the job to build the Morley-Ellenbrook Line
  • $20 million allocated in first State Budget to kick start planning and have construction to start in 2019
  • Federal Member for Pearce yet to commit any Federal funding to the project
  • Shadow Transport Minister Liza Harvey claims the Pearce MP is playing “marginal seat politics”

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Member for Swan Hills Jessica Shaw have called on Christian Porter to guarantee Federal funding towards the Morley-Ellenbrook Line.

In the McGowan Government’s first State Budget handed down last week, $20 million was allocated for planning on the Morley-Ellenbrook Line.

Morley-Ellenbrook Line remains one of the priority projects of METRONET and additional funding will be announced in subsequent budgets once more detailed planning and a business case is progressed for the project.

Mr Porter was the State Treasurer for more than two years before the 2013 election and failed to allocate one cent for the project, even though the Liberal Party committed to it at the time of the 2008 election.

The McGowan Government is committed to delivering the project and has called on the Federal Government – and Christian Porter – to allocate funding towards the project given $1.2billion was allocated to other METRONET projects by the Federal Government, without business cases being completed.

Meanwhile the State Liberal Party is all at sea when it comes to this project.  Shadow Transport Minister Liza Harvey claimed the project is not justified and that Mr Porter’s new support was “marginal seat politics”.

In Parliament today WA Liberal Leader Mike Nahan again rejected the need for a rail line to Ellenbrook, by claiming that people in Ellenbrook don’t need to travel to Perth.

Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:

“There is nothing stopping Mr Porter and the Federal Government from providing a funding commitment for the Morley-Ellenbrook Line today.

“He should come out today and guarantee Federal funding for the project – just like we have guaranteed the project will be completed under a McGowan Government.

“We all know the Liberals never supported this project, I hope they are not getting cold feet and try to somehow derail this project – just like they did in government for eight and half years.

“If Mr Porter really supports the rail line now, he would make sure that his Liberal Party colleagues publicly the support the project and join with Labor to secure Federal funding.

“As Transport Minister I am 100 per cent behind this project and look forward to delivering it.”

Comments from Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw:

“I welcome Mr Porter’s new found interest in Ellenbrook, and the Liberal’s long-overdue recognition of the community’s dire need for better public transport.

 “In April, we announced the Lord Street duplication project, which incorporates works at the Station Site in the town centre. Funding has been provided for that in the budget and we are getting on with the job.

“I welcome the announcement of funding to now complete the detailed planning and business case development for the Morley-Ellenbrook Line and look forward to seeing works start in the future.”