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Author Topic: Barnett Government’s credibility on public transport policy in tatters  (Read 1105 times)

Online ozbob

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The West Australian --> Barnett Government’s credibility on public transport policy in tatters

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Transport Minister Dean Nalder has surprised colleagues and walked even further away from the Liberal Party’s 2013 election-winning public transport policy by revealing his preference for underground heavy-rail tunnels to Morley and beyond instead of MAX light rail.

A day after confirming he favoured a Morley tunnel over MAX, Mr Nalder went much further yesterday, detailing a range of proposals for transport not yet taken to Cabinet.

Light rail gave way to buses and now it's a tunnel

Transport Minister Dean Nalder digs himself a hole

He previously favoured rubber-wheeled buses that function as light rail rather than trams on rails for MAX.

The Opposition said the latest revelations were confusing and chaotic.

“I hadn’t intended for this to be coming out public at this point,” Mr Nalder told 6PR. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

He said he could not yet commit to any option but his preference was for an underground heavy-rail tunnel from the city, past Edith Cowan University to Morley Galleria.

Current planning work is for the line going north-west but Mr Nalder thought it made more sense to go north-east to Ellenbrook. In the next breath, he stressed that rail to Ellenbrook “is not required for some time”.

Mr Nalder insisted MAX, the centrepiece $2 billion promise of the 2013 election that was later deferred for Budget reasons, was not dead.

“We deferred it,” he said. “Yep, we will take the hit on that.

“Given that we’ve deferred it, I’ve wanted to go back and explore it properly and more fully because I want to challenge some of the assumptions in the original models that were provided to the minister. And I’m challenging those as well as exploring other solutions.

“What came out yesterday was Channel 9 uncovered that I was exploring underground as a possible solution. I’m acknowledging that I’m exploring that.

“I think it would be a better amenity for the people in the northern suburbs.”

At least $20 million has been spent on planning MAX to date.

Mr Nalder said he used some of the $5 million set aside for planning in the current Budget on consultants to examine underground rail as an alternative to MAX and as part of a long-term public transport plan he hoped to release mid-year.

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said every time the Liberals pursued another transport plan, they spent millions of dollars on costly investigations and consultants.

“The Liberal Government has been in office eight years and they don’t have a plan to deal with the growth and congestion facing Perth and now we see them throwing millions of dollars away on another thought bubble,” he said. “MAX was one of the so-called fully funded and fully costed promises of the Liberal Party and it was a lie.”

Premier Colin Barnett denied it was a broken promise, saying the Government was doing its job by considering all options.

“It is relatively inexpensive to do underground lines in Perth because it’s a sandy environment,” he said. “It causes minimum disruption on the surface and allows for the development of sub-regional centres.”
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Online ozbob

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ABC News --> Perth to Morley underground rail line favoured as MAX light rail plan put on backburner
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

 

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