Colin Barnett refused yesterday to guarantee that his two big public transport projects - the $1.9 billion airport rail link and $1.8 billion MAX light rail - would be built by 2018 as promised during the election campaign.
After revelations the Liberals intend to seek at least half the funding for the projects from the Commonwealth, the Premier told the ABC on Friday night that "it would take quite some time longer" to build them.
Yesterday, Mr Barnett said it was his "intention" to build MAX and the airport rail by 2018 but asked if he could guarantee it, he said: "No, that is our intention. I am, I think, a pretty sensible person when it comes to managing the State's finances.
"We've laid out the timetable for those projects. All going well, that's what will happen.
"Should the world fall into recession, maybe that would change things.
"I don't expect that to happen. I do expect Commonwealth funding to flow and indeed the Commonwealth funding under the Nation Building 2 (program) is already embedded in the forward estimates of both the Commonwealth and State budgets."
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan seized on the comments, claiming Mr Barnett was laying the ground to break his promises.
"There's no way you can rely upon (nearly $2 billion of Commonwealth funds) considering Mr Barnett hasn't even discussed it with either side of politics in Canberra," Mr McGowan said. "This is identical to Ellenbrook, where he says one thing before the election and does another after the election."
Mr McGowan was forced to defend his own rail plans yesterday after WA Treasury raised a host of risks associated with Metronet including reliability, capacity, safety and scope that could cost much more than Treasury's projected $5.2 billion cost to address.
"Treasury will always, because it's a conservative organisation, come up with these sorts of analyses," Mr McGowan said.
Despite polls and betting markets that show he will lose on Saturday, Mr McGowan remains optimistic.
"As Winston Churchill said, never give up, never give up and never give up. I'm not giving up," he said.Mr Barnett said he was taking nothing for granted and guaranteed the Liberals would campaign right up until the polls close at 6pm on Saturday.
One year of inaction on bike blackspot ends with cyclist in hospital http://t.co/q6Cfi91lbb #wapol
@Rozzhoff of course! I'm definitely his favourite now @locoisms
We are now in a position to call Belmont. Welcome to the Legislative Assembly, Glenys Godfrey! #wapol #wavotes
@MattCowgill I think you're overlooking a much bigger clue in the second half of that sentence.
RT @MikeKellyMP: Shocking news Libs planning to dump National Curriculum. This was a great Labor achievement that particularly benefits Def…
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