Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten announced his plans to pull funding from the Perth Freight Link and instead invest $1 billion into Labor's WA rail project Metronet if elected in July.
Shorten said the $2.5 billion Metronet project to expand Perth's rail networks to the outer suburbs would help ease Perth's congestion and provide 4000 jobs during its construction.
Mark McGowan, WA Labor leader, says if Labor is elected, Metronet would be built as they can afford it; ensuring financial management is in place. He says Metronet needs to happen as studies show that by 2030 70% of the most congested roads will be in Perth – he believes the problem can be addressed by giving people more public transport options.
Dean Nalder, WA Transport Minister, labelled Metronet as “just a slogan”, but said without Federal funding, the state government would struggle to afford Perth Freight Link and would be forced to rethink its rail options. He remains committed to the Perth Freight Link project, as he claims Metronet to be flawed for not providing solutions for Perth’s northern corridor. He also believes Metronet’s budget is unrealistic, and that it would cost a lot more than $2.5 billion to build.