$50m project to transform our cities

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has this morning announced a $50 million infrastructure plan for Australia.

Mr Turnbull said the Federal Government wanted to create “smart cities” in which residents lived within 30 minutes of the places they needed to go.

He said it was important to create more open space, greater liveability, and more affordable housing. The $50 million would be spent on studying major infrastructure proposals.

“We need a cultural gear change in the way we look at urban infrastructure,” he said.

“A liveable city is absolutely critical to the development, to the growth, of our economy.”

He said every dollar spent would be based on sound planning.

“One dollar well spent on planning can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars,” he said.

“These are exciting times for our cities.”

Part of the project includes an examination of the rail line between Forrestfield and Perth Airport.

Premier Colin Barnett said in statement yesterday the Federal Government had provided $490 million towards the project.

“This is a huge milestone on the path to delivering this project, which will change the face of Perth’s eastern corridor and give people direct access to the airport by public transport,” Mr Barnett said.

“It’s the biggest expansion of the city’s rail system since the Mandurah rail line was completed.”

The new rail line, due to open in 2020, will be tunelled underground from a junction near Bayswater Station, under the Swan River and the airport, and out to Forrestfield.