Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Infrastructure Matters

Barnett Government wavers on MAX light rail

Labor Statement February 5

Treasurer Troy Buswell has wavered on the Barnett Government's commitment to building the MAX light rail, Shadow Treasurer Ben Wyatt said today.

Mr Wyatt said Mr Buswell attempted to give himself some wriggle room today by admitting it would be costed only 'if' it was part of the Liberal Party election package.

"If Premier Colin Barnett abandons his light rail commitment, it will be the second time in less than four years that he's broken a commitment to build rail," Mr Wyatt said.

"First he abandoned his commitment to build a rail line to Ellenbrook and now a light rail between Mirrabooka and the CBD.

"It will be one of the greatest political retreats in modern history.

"After spending $27,000 of taxpayers money developing the name 'MAX' and allocating $15.8million for 'planning work', Mr Buswell has now appeared to commence a slow walk away from actually delivering on the project - construction of which his own Treasury documents say is due to start in 2016.

Mr Wyatt said on September 2 last year, Mr Barnett announced at Polytechnic West in Mirrabooka that he would build MAX and gave some helpful financial advice:

I will give you the tip- go and buy a property around this area.

 

Mr Barnett went on to say:

It will literally take tens of thousands of vehicles off the road, it will cause a redevelopment, a revitalisation of these inner northern suburbs of Perth.

"We then had the pleasure of watching the multi-million dollar taxpayer funded 'Bigger Picture' advertisements telling us that MAX was underway," he said.

"Surely Mr Barnett would not have given such helpful financial advice to purchase property around the route of the MAX light rail, only to walk away from his end of the bargain?

"The Barnett Government cannot spend taxpayers money advertising a Government announced project and then have the Liberal Party walk away from it during the election campaign.

"Mr Barnett needs to immediately clarify his position on MAX and tell Western Australians whether he plans to fulfil this commitment."

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