Federal Budget: Local pollies slam Govt for not addressing Perth transport and congestion issues

Federal Budget: Local pollies slam Govt for not addressing Perth transport and congestion issues

LOCAL, state and federal politicians have lashed the Federal Budget for not addressing Perth’s transport and traffic congestion problems.

North Metropolitan MLC Ken Travers said there was no new money in Scott Morrison’s first Budget for projects in Perth’s northern suburbs, and no new funding for rail anywhere in WA.

“WA is the only state that did not receive any new rail funding,” he said.

Mr Travers said light rail was needed in the heart of metropolitan Perth to support urban infill, reduce traffic congestion and urban sprawl.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the Budget again left public transport out in the cold and instead the Government was pushing ahead with the Perth Freight Link “debacle”.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder conceded it was true the Federal Budget contained no new funding for road or rail projects in Perth’s northern suburbs but denied the claim WA was the only state to receive no new rail funding.

“There was $490 million in the Federal Budget for the Forrestfield-Airport Link, a railway which will connect residents in Perth’s eastern foothills to the Perth CBD, via the airport,” he said.

Mr Ludlam rebuked this statement, arguing that the “$500 million for airport rail looks great until you realise it was money that had already been announced”.

Mr Nalder said $5 million has been allocated for new merge lines on the freeways, and $2.3 million for a new dedicated exit lane on Mitchell Freeway northbound for Karrinyup Road, from the Cedric Street off ramp, to improve traffic flow.