Few immediate benefits, say critics

It included $3 billion over four years for the entire north metropolitan area, much of which would be spent in the Perth CBD.

Locally, it included $320 million over four years to extend the Mitchell Freeway to Hester Avenue to relieve pressure on local roads in Clarkson, Butler and Jindalee, with $169 million allocated in 2017-18.

Treasurer Mike Nahan said, as one of Perth’s fastest-growing areas, the north metropolitan area was a key beneficiary of the State Government’s investment in transport and traffic improvement measures.

Dr Nahan said the 2014-15 State Budget would deliver the infrastructure and services needed to support future generations of West Australians.

‘The investment in the growing north metropolitan region is part of the Government’s vision to build and support our growing State,’ he said.

However, Opposition Leader Mark McGowan has broadly labelled it a ‘horror budget’ and Butler MLA John Quigley said it was a ‘disaster for this community’.

North Metropolitan MLC and opposition transport spokesman Ken Travers said the budget would hurt residents.

‘The big issue in this budget is the pain that it’s going to cause for families in the northern suburbs,’ he said.

‘If you are parked at a train station, even if you go for 240 days a year, you are going to be paying $480 a year in additional parking fees. Public transport fares have gone up for a second year.’

Mr Travers said there was ‘little’ coming in infrastructure, including no commitment to extend the freeway farther north and the extension to Hester Avenue had been pushed back, due to finish in 2017-18.

‘They promised to build it during this term of government and it’s now not going to be built during this term,’ he said.

‘We’re struggling to find a single one of the transport promises from this government that will be delivered on time.’

Mr Travers said if the Liberals had stuck with Labor’s plans for a Butler train station, it would have opened in 2012 rather than the anticipated September 2014.

Mr Quigley criticised the change of threshold for first-home buyers’ stamp duty exemption to $430,000 from $500,000.

‘New-home buyers trying to move into the area are now going to be priced out,’ he said.

Liberal MP Peter Katsambanis said he was excited the freeway extension was fully funded and about new school announcements.

State Budget and forward estimates
North metropolitan: $3 billion including
– $320 million to extend the Mitchell Freeway to Hester Avenue over four years.
– $45.9 million for Edgewater multi-storey carpark over four years
– $32.9 million to finish railway to Butler
– $19.8 million for the expansion of Arena Joondalup over four years
– $16.5 million for works at Joondalup Health Campus, including $13.1 million for Telethon Paediatric Ward over three years
– $26.3 million to finish Butler College
– $2 million to finish Butler fire station
Four-year funding for other projects:
– $225 million towards new WA Museum
– $460.6 million to finish Perth Children’s Hospital; $249.3 million towards Elizabeth Quay; $249.4 million for Perth City Link
– $33.7 million for Institute of Sport High Performance Service Centre ($12.8 million this year) $29.9 million for works at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital