War of words on El­len­brook rail

Ellenbrook Advocate - - FRONT PAGE - Lisa Thomas

FED­ERAL Lib­eral MP Chris­tian Porter has crit­i­cised the State Gov­ern­ment over a lack of fund­ing for the El­len­brook rail line in the 201718 State Bud­get.

Mr Porter said the bud­get had given El­len­brook res­i­dents noth­ing but “bro­ken prom­ises” and had not ful­filled the prom­ises made dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign.

He said a key elec­tion prom­ise by the McGowan Gov­ern­ment was that the rail line would start in 2019 and would be com­pleted by 2022, but in the re­cent bud­get, not a sin­gle dol­lar had been al­lo­cated to build­ing the train line to El­len­brook.

“For the next four years the only fund­ing al­lo­cated is a pi­ti­ful amount to look at fu­ture plan­ning op­tions for the rail line,” he said.

“Rita Saf­fi­oti has re­ally let her com­mu­nity down big time and no lie, no mat­ter how big, can hide the sad fact of her break­ing a prom­ise this big.”

How­ever, Trans­port Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti said the re­cent bud­get in­cluded fund­ing for the con­struc­tion of three rail projects – the most in WA his­tory.

“It also in­cluded $20 mil­lion to com­pre­hen­sively plan the Mor­ley to El­len­brook Metronet line after years and years of ne­glect un­der the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment.

“The fund­ing is on top of the Lord Street du­pli­ca­tion.

“The Mor­ley-El­len­brook Metronet line will hap­pen.”

She said Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull had thrown his sup­port be­hind Metronet ear­lier this month and said the rail plan was a prime can­di­date for fund­ing un­der the $10 bil­lion Na­tional Rail Fund.

She said Mr Porter should be lob­by­ing for the rail pro­ject and to help fund the pro­ject through the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

“The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has shov­elled bil­lions of dol­lars into east­ern states rail projects, while rip­ping bil­lions away from WA through our GST.”

Ms Saf­fi­oti said the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has funded $1.42 bil­lion to­wards the Vic­to­rian Re­gional Rail Pack­age, $8.4 bil­lion to In­land Rail Pro­ject from Queens­land to Vic­to­ria and $1.7 bil­lion for Sydney Metro.

“To make mat­ters worse the Fed­eral Mem­ber for Pearce Chris­tian Porter – who has failed to get WA a bet­ter deal on GST – has not even both­ered to lobby Can­berra for a share of rail fund­ing,” she said.

“Mr Porter is fi­nally on the record say­ing he sup­ports the El­len­brook rail pro­ject, but he’s not help­ing. If Mr Porter won’t lobby for a bet­ter GST share, he needs to se­cure fund­ing for the El­len­brook rail line.”

City of Swan Mayor Mick Wain­wright said the El­len­brook rail pro­ject was crit­i­cal for the re­gion. “I be­lieve a rail line in El­len­brook is crit­i­cal in or­der to sup­port the rapid growth of the re­gion and to cre­ate a sus­tain­able trans­port so­lu­tion for more than 40,000 res­i­dents,” he said.

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