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Western Australian Government robs rail to pay for roads

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 20 Jan 2011

The Greens have urged the State Government to prioritise rail and light rail development in Western Australia.

The Greens' federal spokesperson for transport, Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, said the Barnett government needed to take a comprehensive approach to solving the state's transport problems.

"The government is prepared to spend $1 billion on upgrading roads around Perth Airport and work is to commence in just three years. For $3 billion we could build a light rail system to service the entire city, but all we have from the Premier is a vague commitment to bringing light rail to Perth within ten years," said Senator Ludlam.

Greens state transport spokesperson MLC Alison Xamon said the roads around the airport need improvement but the government had demonstrated poor judgement in other transport sectors by closing 700km of grain rail lines in the central wheatbelt.

"Closing the tier three rail lines will be a huge burden on the road system in the central wheatbelt," said the Greens state transport spokesperson.

"The government recognises the roads around the airport are a serious problem, but doesn't acknowledge that an important part of the solution will be getting commuters on light rail and providing an adequate heavy rail network for freight."

Senator Ludlam said the State Government needed to present a definite plan and time frame for light rail networks in Perth and WA's regional centres.
"As the Premier himself has made clear, this state is experiencing a boom which must be put to good use. Now is the time to invest in useful transport infrastructure that will continue to serve the people of Western Australia for generations to come," he said.


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