Lakelands and a train of thought

Lakelands and a train of thought

I can appreciate some Lakelands residents' disappointment in the Barnett government's failure to build a train station between Warnbro and Mandurah in its entire eight-and-a-half years in office.

Rockingham and Mandurah were neglected by the state between 2008 and 2017 when the Liberal Party was in government.

At the March 2017 election we committed to building a station at Karnup, commencing 2020 and opening 2022.

This was because the Public Transport Authority had completed analysis that showed Karnup was the most suitable site for the next station: being mid-way between Warnbro and Mandurah; close to significant population centres in Secret Harbour, Golden Bay, Singleton and Madora Bay; having space for a bus interchange and sizeable car park, and being suitable for a transit-oriented development.

The federal Liberal party actually opposed the Mandurah rail line and the federal Liberal transport minister of the day said the job could be done with six buses.

We built the railway and opened it in late December 2007. We then lost office in September 2008.

The McGowan government is building Metronet phase 1 as promised at the March 2017 election. The Lakelands station is in addition to this commitment.

The federal government promised to fund a station at Lakelands as part of its recent federal election campaign.

The cost of the Lakelands station is $80 million. The federal government has been committing 80 per cent of funding for other WA infrastructure projects but seem to be treating Lakelands as a second-class project by offering less than 50 per cent of the cost.

The McGowan government must deal with the horrendous $40 billion of debt it inherited from the Barnett Liberal government and must, therefore, ensure the federal government meets its infrastructure funding obligations.

Paul Papalia is MP for Warnbro.