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WA Labor slow to start on Ellenbrook Rail

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Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, has called on WA Labor to get on with the job of building Ellenbrook Rail after the WA State Government took over two years just to determine the preferred route.

“When Mark McGowan was elected Premier in 2017, he made a clear election commitment that Ellenbrook Rail would commence construction in 2019 and be completed by 2022,” Mr Porter said.

“In April last year, WA Labor signed a city deal with the Federal Liberal Government agreeing to jointly fund and build major infrastructure projects, including Ellenbrook Rail.

“The Federal Liberal Government funding of $500 million has already been provided for in our 2018 Budget, ensuring the project will become a reality.

“While the funding was not contingent, obviously that deal was concluded on the expectation that WA Labor would keep to its own promised timeline for the project – being that Ellenbrook Rail would commence construction in 2019 and be completed by 2022.

“WA Labor has the money to build this critical project, but to date there are worrying signs that WA Labor does not appear to be on track to fulfil its promised timeline on the project.

“As the major funding partner, my expectation is the same as everyone else in my electorate, that WA Labor would commence construction of Ellenbrook Rail in 2019 and complete the project by 2022. There can be no excuse of a lack of funding.”

The agreement to allocate $500 million in the Federal Liberal 2018 Budget was entered into before the Federal Liberal Government secured an additional $4.7 billion for WA by fixing the GST.

This additional GST money is on top of the specific infrastructure funding previously provided and is unconditional, meaning the WA State Government can spend the extra $4.7 billion however it sees fit. Earlier this year Scott Morrison delivered the first instalment of this money, a $1.3 billion cheque to the WA State Government.

“In over two years WA Labor has not laid a single track of rail on the Ellenbrook line – whether WA Labor is going to keep its commitment and commence construction of Ellenbrook Rail in 2019 remains to be seen,” Mr Porter said.