Metronet back on Labor agenda

Metronet back on Labor agenda

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State opposition leader Mark McGowan, Member for Gosnells Chris Tallentire, Member for Cannington Bill Johnston and shadow transport minister Rita Saffioti announced Labor’s recommitment to extend the Thornlie line at Thornlie train station this week.
State opposition leader Mark McGowan, Member for Gosnells Chris Tallentire, Member for Cannington Bill Johnston and shadow transport minister Rita Saffioti announced Labor’s recommitment to extend the Thornlie line at Thornlie train station this week.

Extending the Armadale train line to Byford along with the Thornlie line extension would be a priority under Labor’s revamped metronet scheme, though it was unclear when it would be built or how it would be funded.

Labor first unveiled metronet ahead of the 2013 state election.

In a series of announcements made this week state opposition leader Mark McGowan said his party would recommit to the project ahead of the 2017 election.

He said the first priority stages of the multi-billion dollar project would include completing the airport line to Forrestfield, building rail to Ellenbrook, Morley, Yanchep and Byford, extending the Thornlie line through Canning Vale to Cockburn and fixing dangerous level crossings.

“The Byford area is growing rapidly,” he said.

“There are a lot of young families and retirees here who need public transport.

“Byford deserves a railway, it deserves metronet, it deserves to be connected.”

He said the Thornlie extension, which would connect the Armadale and Mandurah lines, would represent the start of metronet’s circle line, which would allow east-west travel rather than spur lines in and out of the city.

He said the extension would also provide a vital link for Mandurah line passengers to reach Perth stadium more easily.

“The location of the Perth stadium in Burswood presents real challenges to the existing train system, which is another reason why we need metronet,” he said.

Mr McGowan could not confirm when each stage of the project would be rolled out but said he would spend the next 18 months consulting with communities.

He said metronet would be built in ‘affordable stages.’

Member for Gosnells Chris Tallentire said metronet would give thousands of commuters in Thornlie, Huntingdale, Southern River and the rapidly growing south-eastern suburbs the opportunity to catch a train.

“If only we’d won government in 2013,” he said.

“We’d almost have finished the link to the Mandurah line by now.”

Transport Minister Dean Nalder dismissed the project as being nothing new.

“Listening carefully to Mark (McGowan) he’s not making any commitment to anything,” he said.

Mr Nalder said Mr McGowan had a long track record of admiring the problem and little track record of actually delivering it.

“He says he wants to start a program but the first bit of that is finishing what we started,” he said.

According to Mr Nalder this included beginning the construction of the Forrestfield airport link.

Mr Nalder has previously described the Thornlie line extension as being a longer term project, with the state government’s draft plan Perth and Peel at 3.5 million placing construction at 2025.

The same report placed a Byford train station at 2031.