Transport a priority

Mr Cowper said he hoped Transport Minister Troy Buswell did not share the negative view of his departmental spokesperson, who told the Mandurah Coastal Times last week there were no future plans to upgrade the Australind passenger service between Perth and Bunbury.

‘To list a few cosmetic upgrades to the Australind as justification for a lack of forward rail planning for the South West is a line I doubt the Busselton-based minister would be prepared to put his name to,’ Mr Cowper said.

He said his recent public call for a fresh look at the Perth-Mandurah-Pinjarra to Bunbury rail service involved far more than the Australind passenger service.

‘This remains a single track conveying one of the biggest volumes of freight in WA and as such is already under pressure,” he said.

‘Will we continue to neglect its importance, or will we recognise before it is too late that something needs to be done to really capitalise on future needs and opportunities?

‘Both the Peel and South West regions continue to generate more royalties and certainly more wealth than many of their neighbours, but remain last on the list of Royalties for Regions funding.’

‘If the Perth-central government prefers to ‘cry poor’ than to address the burgeoning needs of WA’s most productive regions, perhaps local royalties and private investment could be better applied to ‘get things done’.’