THE progress of Metronet projects, including rail to Yanchep and Ellenbrook, created conflict between State and Federal politicians this week.
Pearce MHR Christian Porter issued a statement on Tuesday criticising the State Government after a Senate estimates committee revealed Infrastructure Australia had not yet received full business cases for Metronet projects.
“The submission of a business case to Infrastructure Australia is critical to ensure that the Yanchep rail project is managed and executed in the most efficient way,” he said.
“It now seems that progress on Yanchep rail is being threatened because Labor still have not submitted the critical business case.
“This is necessary legwork to ensure that the project qualifies for Federal funding.”
Infrastructure Australia and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti both confirmed this week that preliminary business cases for Yanchep and Thornlie rail projects were submitted in August.
“The WA Government is undertaking further work on cost benefit analysis and land use planning to finalise the full business cases for these projects,” an Infrastructure Australia spokesman said.
“In addition, we have had early engagement with the WA Government on the Ellenbrook rail proposal.”
Mr Porter said the Federal Government had committed $792 million for Metronet projects and it was disappointing the State Budget did not include funding for the Ellenbrook rail line.
Ms Saffioti said a summary of the 600-page submissions was available on the Public Transport Authority’s website and the business cases would be delivered in multiple stages, with final submissions expected early next year.
“We are working very well with Federal Government agencies,” she said.
The conflict stemmed from a Senate estimates discussion in late October, when Senator Slade Brockman asked what contact Infrastructure Australia had had with the State Government about Metronet.
Infrastructure Australia chief executive Philip Davies told him they met with the State Government to discuss the Thornlie and Yanchep extensions in September.
“Whilst we were there, we also talked about Ellenbrook,” he said.
“We have some preliminary information on Yanchep and Thornlie, but we haven’t received the full business cases yet as they are being worked on.
“We haven’t received anything in detail on Ellenbrook at this stage.”
The issue was also discussed in State Parliament on November 7, with Ms Saffioti confirming business cases had been submitted in response to a question from Southern River MLA Terry Healey.