Opposition wants Feds to pay for WA transport

The State Opposition has called upon the Turnbull Government to fund Perth public transport projects in the upcoming Federal Budget.

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said $5 billion had already been allocated to public transport initiatives in New South Wales and Victoria, but there was no new money for Western Australia.

Mr McGowan said the lack of public transport in Perth’s northern suburbs meant Malaga and other major industrial areas were not fully utilised for employment opportunities.

Labor wants its ‘Metronet’ plan to be funded, which would see the construction of rail links to Morley and Ellenbrook to connect the north-eastern suburbs to the city.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said Metronet would help ease congestion.

“It’s basically trying to make sure that public transport becomes a real choice, a real alternative for people in northern suburbs so they’re not stuck in traffic and not creating congestion on our roads,” Mrs Saffioti said.

Mr McGowan also took aim at the Perth Freight Link, claiming it was a waste of money and a short-term solution to WA’s traffic issues.

“Spending $2 billion on the Perth Freight Link, a significant proportion of that could be put towards the Fremantle Traffic Bridge and you’d get a better outcome,” Mr McGowan said.

The Perth Freight Link is expected to create more than 2400 jobs over the course of its construction, according to Main Roads WA.

Last week, Mr Turnbull announced the Federal Government would spend $50 million to ensure major cities were better planned, especially concerning public transport projects.

The Federal Budget is due to be released tomorrow.