South metro light rail a smart investment

Published on Wed 11 November 2020 2:53pm

It’s absolutely time to get on with better east-west public transport links that give people cheaper, lower-carbon transport options, and will catalyse urban revitalisation along the way.

Mr Wilson (4:48pm) – Deputy Speaker, the immediate south-metro region of Perth, including my community, has benefited from Labor’s commitment to rail transport over a long period of time.

Labor saved the Fremantle line from closure in the 1980s. Labor had the vision and the resolution to deliver the Mandurah line in the early 2000s.

Now Labor will deliver additional rail capacity into Fremantle to remove the existing conflict between freight and passenger, which will enable a greater proportion of freight-on-rail into Fremantle port, and fewer trucks on our roads.

And WA Labor is also committed to seeing trains built in Western Australia through the Metronet Railcar program – which means new manufacturing jobs.

But Deputy Speaker, there is a need to deliver 2nd-tier public transport involving light rail or trackless trams that run east-west in the south-metro region.

I am glad the government is putting funds into the business case for a project of that kind in Scarborough. But we need that same support in Fremantle, Cockburn, Melville, and Murdoch.

I know the Member for Tangney shares my view that the south-metro part of Perth we represent needs to be properly supported – and not always regarded as second cab off the rank to suburbs in the north.

We share an interest in seeing a dedicated public transport corridor developed between Fremantle and Murdoch.

Each end of that link has an equivalent strategic heft; each features a train station as part of the existing hard rail network; each features a major hospital – which is vital both for health services, and as centres for employment; and each features a university: Notre Dame in Fremantle, and of course Murdoch University alongside the Fiona Stanley health and commercial precinct.

Connecting these two ends of the bar-bell is a no-brainer – and the South Street corridor presents the perfect alignment for running high-quality 2nd-tier public transport.

Deputy Speaker, I applaud the work of the South-West Group on behalf of the 6 member Councils to develop-up a compelling proof of concept.  I would hope the federal government can extend its view south of the river, and provide support to the further development of this plan.

I look forward to working to advance this project with the broader community, local governments, the WA government, and – I would hope – the federal government, in partnership with Member for Tangney.

I know in the past some have suggested that the Member for Tangney is not interested in any transport projects whatsoever, other than the discredited and comprehensively rejected Roe 8 project.

I find that hard to believe, I know the Member for Tangney, he’s a sensible person, and he wants projects that deliver for the community he represents.

And I know he puts great store in respecting democratic outcomes. In the past he’s called on Labor to respect this government’s mandate – and there is no clearer mandate in all of Western Australia than the mandate to move on from the harmful and wasteful folly of Roe 8.

Deputy Speaker, it’s absolutely time to get on with better east-west public transport links that give people cheaper, lower-carbon transport options, and will catalyse urban revitalisation along the way. In my electorate, the electorate of Fremantle and for the benefit of people in the electorate of Tangney, it’s long overdue. I hope that the government can follow what it’s done in the north part of Perth and give us some of the same treatment in the south.

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