Rail plans at

Transport Minister Dean Nalder stunned everyone last week when he announced a preference for an underground heavy rail tunnel to Morley Galleria, instead of the Liberal Government’s 2013 election promise for MAX light rail.

The proposed line would run underground from the CBD to Morley before heading out to Ballajura, Gnangara and East Wanneroo, and also a line out to Ellenbrook.

Tony Green from BCRA said the area needed park and ride facilities before any additional public transport was implemented.

“We are concerned about the lack of public transport (but) it does not matter what they put there, if there is no park and ride option, no one is going to use it,” Mr Green said.

“Our major push has been park and ride facilities.”

The Reporter revealed in August last year the Department of Transport was researching the possibility of an underground railway line from the CBD to Morley at a cost of about $2.8 billion.

When approached for comment, a Department of Transport spokeswoman remained tight-lipped about details, saying “the strategic context for all future rail lines in Perth were being further considered as part of long-term planning investigations for the Perth Transport Plan for 3.5 million people and beyond.”

Perth MHR Alannah MacTiernan said in August she wanted to see a “mature discussion” about the possible underground railway link.

“Light rail is important, but it is not adequate for moving the number of people in that area,” Ms MacTiernan said.

The Opposition was quick to criticise in light of Mr Nalder’s revelation last week and took the opportunity to spruik its Metronet plans.

Opposition planning spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said government “wasted at least $28 million on the abandoned MAX light rail project”.