War of words on Ellenbrook rail
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.