Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says Hay Street mall is too narrow for the planned light rail line, prompting Transport Minister Troy Buswell to declare the Government would build it where it liked.
The exact route of the Metro Area Express (MAX) is yet to be decided but Mr Buswell confirmed Hay Street was the Government's preferred west-east thoroughfare.
Ms Scaffidi said the City of Perth was told as recently as a fortnight ago that Wellington and Murray streets and St Georges Terrace were west-east options. She said the Hay Street mall route would damage the CBD's "amenity".
Mr Buswell accused her of not wanting light rail "anywhere near the city".
"The only local government that's been involved so far that's been critical has been the City of Perth," he said.
"If they want to keep trying to strangle the city of Perth, well go for it, but that's not the position of the State Government.
"Hay Street is our preferred route all along."
Ms Scaffidi said Mr Buswell had "gone off the deep end".
Hay Street mall was 21m wide and Perth's busiest pedestrian space. Bourke Street, Melbourne, was 50m wide but its tram lines were still "perilous" to cross.
"We want light rail but we've got to be smart about it," she said.
Ms Scaffidi suggested the tracks should run east on Wellington Street and turn south on Barrack Street then head east on Hay Street east of the mall."The Government is doing what it needs to do, obviously, to get elected but we, the custodians of the capital city, have to focus on amenity," Ms Scaffidi said.
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