Railing against lack of details

Maylands MLA Lisa Baker.
Maylands MLA Lisa Baker.

The State Government announced a new eight kilometre train route this month that would head east from the Midland line near Bayswater station, tunnel under the Swan River and Tonkin Highway, before reaching the airport and Forrestfield.

Ms Baker said this was the biggest project Premier Colin Barnett had announced but he had given no details of the basis on which the plan was chosen over others.

‘With the Airport Rail Link planned to join with the Midland line near Bayswater station, residents and shop owners living on the Midland line are keen to understand how this will affect them,’ she said.

‘The Airport Rail Link was originally promised to be completed by 2018, but has been successively pushed out by the State Government until 2020, with cost estimates continuing to skyrocket.’

Ms Baker said despite previous promises that the project was fully funded at $1.8 billion, the new $2.2 billion price tag was not fixed.

Mr Barnett said until detailed tenders were received, it was difficult to estimate the precise cost of the project but the Government expected it to be about $2.2 billion.

‘It is a key infrastructure project that furthers the long-term strategic interests of the city by opening up Perth’s eastern suburbs, which in the short term will also create hundreds of construction and engineering jobs,’ he said.

‘The tunnels are a really exciting engineering project that also means this railway line can be built in the most timely fashion with the least disruption to residents, businesses, traffic and the airport.’

Construction is expected to start in 2016 with completion in 2020. Community information sessions with relevant local government areas will begin next month.