Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Infrastructure Matters

Liberals taking Western Australians for a ride

Labor Statement

Colin Barnett's announcement to build the Perth to Darwin Highway simply can't be believed, WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan said today.

Mr McGowan said the Liberal Party's record of broken promises, combined with its failure to fund this project, meant it was unlikely to get off the ground.

"This is the same party that promised to build a rail line to Ellenbrook during the 2008 election campaign, only to break that promise and then claim it never happened," Mr McGowan said.

"The Liberals broke their promise on the Ellenbrook promise and they will break the Perth to Darwin Highway promise."

Mr McGowan said if Mr Barnett was serious about this proposal, he would not make it contingent on Federal Government funding.

"Mr Barnett announcing a project with only $196million of the $800million required smacks of desperation," he said.

"This is a half-baked announcement and Mr Barnett must also reveal if this funding will simply be added to the Barnett Government's spiralling State debt bill."

Mr McGowan said if Treasurer Troy Buswell was intending to use Federal Nation Building 2 (NB2) money for the Perth to Darwin Highway he would need to explain his maths.

"There is currently $846million in the budget from NB2 and so far Mr Buswell has said he would use that money for the rail-line to the airport and for MAX," he said.

"So we have Mr Buswell allocating $846million to nearly $5billion worth of projects.

"The Liberal Party is being sneaky by promising projects that rely on things outside its control.

"WA Labor is honest with the public and has funded METRONET out of savings. It's not reliant on Federal Government funding.

"WA Labor has funded its transport plan. The Liberal Party hasn't. WA Labor will build METRONET. The Liberal Party won't.

"Colin Barnett is simply unbelievable. He will say, do and promise anything to deceive Western Australians into voting for his tired, arrogant and out of touch Government."

Mr McGowan said only WA Labor can be trusted to deliver the road and rail Western Australia needs for the 21st century.

"WA Labor recognises the importance of the Perth to Darwin Highway for relieving traffic congestion in the Swan Valley," he said.

"We recognise the Perth to Darwin Highway as the next major road project in the metropolitan area.

"As it will form part of the National Land Transport Network, we believe the Commonwealth has the responsibility to fund the majority of its construction cost and we will actively seek Commonwealth support for this project.

"WA Labor will ensure we are able to meet the State's share of this road project should the Commonwealth agree to fund it.

"WA Labor will not make false promises to the people in the North Eastern corridor until Federal funding is secured."

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