Mr Shorten toured the City of Stirling last Wednesday, March 12, and criticised the Federal Government for not investing in rail, something he said would directly improve traffic congestion and the ‘liveability’ of Perth.
‘The Abbott Government can talk about workplace relations or repealing particular taxes but if they want a more productive workforce, people from Perth through to Sydney don’t want to spend their working lives sitting in traffic. If you want to improve productivity, liveability and maintain the strong middle class of Australia, you’ve got to build infrastructure,’ Mr Shorten said.
Mr Shorten’s criticism came only weeks after the WA State Government announced that it would hold off on plans for the MAX light rail until after the next election.
The Labor leader commended the City of Stirling on its vision for the future and said the City’s multi-culturalism was something it should embrace.
‘The council leaders have got a clear vision of improving light rail and public transport in the Stirling Council area. They want the ratepayers to be able to get to the city and move around to their jobs, they want to clear up road congestion, they want to improve the level of energy in Stirling and that is by having better public transport.
‘The workforce that does the council work are very dedicated, very professional, very upbeat, the backbone of a working community is the council workers. I think the final thing is the multi-cultural diversity of Stirling, that’s a strength,’ Mr Shorten said.
Mayor Giovanii Italiano said he was pleased Mr Shorten accepted his open invitation to visit the City, which included a private meeting.
‘Mr Shorten took a real interest in the City and was impressed with its many services and the economies of scale that a large local government like Stirling could provide,’ Cr Italiano said.
‘A big focus for Mr Shorten was meeting our staff who are out there on the frontline providing these services to the community. It was also very encouraging that after his visit, Mr Shorten praised the City for being a progressive local government.’
Mr Shorten also met with Labor Senate candidates Louise Pratt, Joe Bullock and Shane Hilllater.