Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull’s trip to Perth saw the announcement of a record amount of Federal funding for our State.
A major $3.2 billion dollars has been committed for the 2018-2019 Federal budget, with hopes of rectifying WA’s unfair share of the GST.
“We’ve never made any bones about the fact that the current arrangements on the GST are not giving WA a fair deal,” Mr Turnbull said.
He acknowledged changes need to be made, and works with the productivity commission are underway.
He said the new arrangements, however they are structured, must be seen as fair everywhere.
The billion dollar question on everyone’s mind is how will WA benefit from such a commitment…
The funding will help build new road infrastructure, a new Wellington Dam project, and assist with GST top-ups.
Significant funding for METRONET has also been committed to.
“For the first time we’ve seen a liberal party actually acknowledge that the ellenbrook line is something worth funding, and we’re very keen that the federal liberal has committed $500 million to that project,” said Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti.
Ms Saffioti wants to make sure WA gets as much infrastructure funding as possible.
After working with both sides of politics federally, Ms Saffioti is happy to see such a major commitment.
“Our job is not yet done… We’ll keep fighting for more funds for WA, more funds for infrastructure because we don’t get our fair share in the GST, and we need more funds to build our great state,” she said.
In addition to next year’s overall budget funding, the Government will commit a further $1.05 billion of Federal investments in this year’s budget towards METRONET; taking the total federal funding for the project up to $1.84 billion.
Construction and infrastructure upgrades include:
Construction of Morley – Ellenbrook line; estimated cost $1 billion, with $500 million in federal funding.
Extension of the Armadale line to Byford; estimated cost of $481 million, with $241 million in federal funding.
Midland station project, including station relocation; estimated cost $165 million, with $83 million in federal funding.
Business case funding for a railway station at Lakelands; estimated $2 million, with further federal funding earmarked for construction.
And, a further $226 million in federal funding to support other METRONET related projects.
“This is a plan to get Western Australians home sooner and safer, bust congestion and improve every bodies amenities in this great city,” said Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.
“It’s a growing city it needs better infrastructure, it needs better rail…” he commented.
Mr Turnbull said Western Australians will be talking about the benefits of this infrastructure, and the way it changes their lives, enabling them to get home sooner and safer.
Premier Mark McGowan said the Ellenbrook, Byford, and Midland lines will be the main focus, in line with his election promises.
He promised to work productively and constructively to achieve the right outcomes for WA.
Friendly banter and joking between the Prime Minister and PM – “I’m confident you won’t break the hearts of all those people we saw on the train this morning… They really want these investments to go ahead, and they’re thrilled we’re working together!”