Metronet rides again: McGowan

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan spruiks his Metronet plan.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan spruiks his Metronet plan.

OPPOSITION Leader Mark McGowan has promised a Labor Government would complete the airport rail line to Forrestfield as part of its Metronet plan to solve Perth’s congestion crisis.

Mr McGowan announced last week that, if elected, Labor would build Metronet in affordable stages.

Completing the airport rail line to Forrestfield would be a priority in Labor’s transport plan, he said.

“The plan is for the airport rail line to connect with other lines, including Forrestfield and surrounding suburbs, and not only the Perth CBD,” Mr McGowan said.

“We must give local families in Forrestfield and surrounding suburbs more public transport options, not just a spur line.

“Metronet will connect them to destinations across and around the metropolitan area. It will take thousands of cars off congested roads.

“A Forrestfield metro hub would be a major driver of new jobs, where people will live, work and play,” he said.

The State Government has criticised Metronet, with Premier Colin Barnett reportedly saying it was “simply a list of rail projects that have been on various governments’ agendas for years”.

It was also reported that Transport Minister Dean Nalder said Mr McGowan was “dreaming” if he thought it could complete it for the promised price.

“It’s major point of difference between the WA Labor team and the Liberals,” Mr McGowan responded. “We support a rail line to Morley and Ellenbrook and the Liberal Party doesn’t.”

He pledged to spend $2.5 billion extending rail to Ellenbrook, Morley, Yanchep and Byford, as well as completing the airport line to Forrestfield and building circle routes.

Labor announced a similar rail system three years ago, costed at $3.8 billion.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said Metronet was not just a transport policy, but also a planning policy.

“All reports and analysis show that to lay rail, you are increasing the value of land around stations,” she said.