The proposed Lakelands Train Station was in Prime Minister Scott Morrison's sights during a recent three-day blitz in the west, with the federal Liberal leader joining Canning MP Andrew Hastie to announce $10 million for stage one of the project.
The cash splash on the future transport hub in northern Mandurah formed part of a raft of infrastructure funding announcements he made during last week's trip.
The $10 million commitment came in addition to $2 million delivered in April 2018 by the Liberals for the station’s business case.
Championing the construction of a train station in Lakelands since the promise of one was first brought to his attention by residents in 2016, Mr Hastie welcomed the pledge.
“We are committing $10 million today because this project needs leadership," he said.
"WA Labor have ignored the people of Lakelands and refused to commit to the station.
"The Morrison Government is putting money on the table to get it started."
The $10 million will be used in the early works of the station’s construction.
“This train station is a priority for the Morrison Government because it is a priority for the people of Lakelands,” Mr Hastie said.
David Templeman is nowhere to be seen. Politics is not just singing and cabaret - it takes hard work and drive.Canning MP Andrew Hastie
Mr Morrison said it was important people spend less time on the road and more time with their loved ones. “[It] will make a real difference to people living in fast-growing suburbs,” he said.
The Lakelands station has a long history that dates back to planning in the early 2000s when the area was developed.
In 2004, the City of Mandurah drew up the structure plan that included it and in 2006 the Western Australian Planning Commission signed off on it.
In both the state and federal arenas across the past two decades, former and current politicians have gone on record as supporting a Lakelands Train Station.
Ahead of the 2013 election Mandurah MP David Templeman said Lakelands was his preferred site for a new train stop to reduce pressure on Mandurah’s busy station.
However, the McGowan government instead chose Karnup as its priority for the next station.
When former Mandurah mayor Marina Vergone campaigned for the station in 2017, WA transport minister Rita Saffioti did not say if she would support a station but reiterated the government’s commitment to Karnup.
However, the state Labor parliamentarian was far from coy following Mr Morrison's March 8 announcement.
Ms Saffioti labelled the $10 million commitment as "measly" and designed for a "quick headline, but it won’t deliver".
Hastie is trying to hoodwink the people of Lakelands and North Mandurah.Mandurah MP David Templeman
"It appears some of these announcements were scrawled on the back of an envelope on the Prime Minister’s plane trip to Perth last week," Ms Saffioti said.
Mandurah MP David Templeman said the Liberal Party's track record on rail was "dismal" and "the only party that could be trusted to deliver crucial rail infrastructure is the Labor Party".
“Hastie is trying to hoodwink the people of Lakelands and North Mandurah with a hollow promise that he can’t deliver on," Mr Templeman said.
Mr Hastie said his state colleagues' comments "prove that Labor isn’t taking north Mandurah seriously".
"David Templeman needs to decide: Does he represent Mandurah or does he represent Karnup? He’s clearly not using his influence in cabinet to fight for our community. David Templeman is nowhere to be seen," Mr Hastie said.
"A 2017 survey of north Mandurah showed that that 90 per cent of residents want a train station in Lakelands.
"Politics is not just singing and cabaret - it takes hard work and drive.
"At the moment, I’m carrying David Templeman on health and public transport.
"If he can’t get the job done for Mandurah, I will."
Scott Morrison thinks he can fly in from Canberra and promise to build the Lakelands Station for a measly $10 million, he is in fantasy land.Labor's federal candidate for Canning Mellisa Teede
Labor's federal candidate for Canning Mellisa Teede labelled the funding as a "token grab for votes".
"Early estimates suggest the station would cost up to $70 million to build. Scott Morrison thinks he can fly in from Canberra and promise to build the Lakelands Station for a measly $10 million, he is in fantasy land," Ms Teede said.
"If the federal government was serious about building Lakelands Station, it would make a substantial contribution.
"The state government’s METRONET team is already working on a business case for Lakelands."
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