Christian Porter ignores Yanchep rail question

After saying there was no business case for the Yanchep rail extension Pearce MHR Christian Porter now says the McGowan Government has no excuse to delay the project. File picture

PEARCE MHR Christian Porter has sidestepped questions about comments he made on 6PR about the lack of business case for the Yanchep rail extension.

Yanchep News Online asked Mr Porter to clarify whether his comment made on Gareth Parker’s show on April 27 meant a business case for the Yanchep rail did not exist or that the former state government had not submitted a business case for the Yanchep rail.

Instead Mr Porter turned up the heat on the McGowan Government and said the Coalition Government had announced it would provide substantial funding towards the Yanchep rail line extension, subject to positive assessments of the business cases through Infrastructure Australia.

“The State Labor Government must act immediately to get the business case into Infrastructure Australia for assessment,’’ he said.

“Pending positive assessments the funding is there – McGowan has no excuse to delay this project any further.’’

On federal Budget day on Tuesday, May 9 Mr Porter said he had been working hard to get a better deal for WA on its GST return.

“Part of the compensation package I have helped develop in the Coalition’s 2017 Budget ensures we will fund 62 per cent of the rail line to Yanchep, subject to Infrastructure Australia approval of the business case.

“The substantial $2.3 billion infrastructure package for WA will provide a major boost to WA’s local economy, with 6000 jobs expected to be created across the state.

“Included in the package is a dual carriageway between Joondalup Dr and Flynn Dr on Wanneroo Rd and a grade separated intersection at Wanneroo Rd and Joondalup Dr.

“The Coalition Government will fund $24.8 million of the $31m dual carriageway and $40m of the $50m grade separated intersection.

“As someone who knows first-hand how congested the Wanneroo Rd and Joondalup Dr intersection can be, I am pleased we are able to fund these vital infrastructure projects.

“Anyone who uses Wanneroo Road or Joondalup Drive on their morning commute will know how beneficial these upgrades will be.”

He said the total $2.3b state-federal infrastructure package included $1.86b reallocated from the Perth Freight Link project (including $1.2b in federal funding), $211m from savings on existing road projects; (including $166m in federal funding and $226m from the latest Coalition Government GST top-up payment for Western Australia.

On Thursday, May 11 Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the McGowan Government would be fighting for Western Australia to get its fair share of the $10b national rail program funding announced in the Federal Budget on Tuesday.

The extension of the Joondalup line to Yanchep is one of the project Ms Saffioti wants to get funding for from the national rail program.

“It’s time WA got its fair share of infrastructure, we have the projects and they deserve funding – it’s time for the Federal Government to take Western Australia seriously,’’ she said.

City of Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts said residents who overwhelmingly supported the city’s Connect Wanneroo campaign could be proud of the announcement that rail was to be delivered to Yanchep and major upgrades made to Wanneroo Rd and Marmion Ave.

“Support for our ‘Connect Wanneroo – Get on Board’ campaign generated 60,000 emails to state and federal politicians that clearly demonstrated how important effective transport infrastructure is to our community,’’ she said.