A row over Labor’s promise to build a new multi-level car park at Mandurah’s train station has erupted after budget documents revealed the project would not be built without financial assistance from the Commonwealth.
Labor made the commitment during the March state election, when it said it would pay $20 million towards the building of the car park.
But papers from Thursday’s budget revealed only $16.1 million was allocated for the project and would be “subject to the confirmation of a matching funding contribution from the Commonwealth Government”.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti pointed Labor’s pre-election costings documents, which noted the contribution required from the federal government to fund its Metronet public transport policy, but did not refer specifically to the Mandurah carpark project.
“We have discussed and will continue to lobby for federal funding for our Metronet program,” she said.
“This includes the Mandurah station car park and Karnup station.
“I would hope all Western Australians would support more funding for rail programs in WA. For example, the Turnbull Government this year committed $8.4 billion for one rail project over east.
“It’s time WA got it’s share.”
Federal Canning MP Andrew Hastie said the state government was being “two-faced” about the promise and said he never had any indication from Labor the building of the carpark would require Commonwealth funding.
“They’re not being honest with people,” he said.
“It’s just tricky because they want to hand off responsibility for not delivering it to someone else, i.e., the federal government.
“They’re trying to shift blame, they’re trying to hedge their bets, there’s no vision and they’re just groping in the dark.”
Mandurah MP David Templeman said there was an opportunity for the state and the Commonwealth to work together to deliver a better project.
“We’ve got to be innovative about this because you don’t just build a multi-storey carpark,” he said.
“There’s potential for part of the ground section to be some smaller commercial enterprises.
“Now those could include things like dry cleaners, a gym, those sorts of 24-seven convenience stores.
“We will be looking for some federal funding for that. The next step would be the state minister would approach them and the idea being that we get something quite innovative.”
But Mr Hastie labelled a plan to build shops into a multi-level car park “crazy” and called on the state government to “focus on the objective”.
“We don’t need more shops, we need carparks and we need a train station at Lakelands,” he said.
“I call on the state minister for transport to get the job done, I call on the Member for Mandurah to get the job done.
“Stop messing around with $16.1 million and just build the carpark.”
Ms Saffioti also told reporters before the state budget a new train station promised for Karnup would also require Commonwealth funding.
“There’s money for the planning for Karnup and again and we’re going to put the business case to the Commonwealth and secure funding for that project and there’s potential land sales in the area that will help fund that train station,” she said.
Mr Hastie stood by his support for a train station to be built in the City of Mandurah at Lakelands.
“The Prime Minister has been here, the Urban Infrastructure Minister has been here, the Cities Minister has been here, we’ve all had a look at Lakelands and there is a growing consensus around the Lakelands train station,” he said.
“So sure, build the carpark – get on with it – but let’s talk about the Lakelands train station, that’s what the people want.”