Taxpayers spent $200,000 buying land for the State Government's Ellenbrook bus rapid transit system last year, taking the amount spent on planning and promotion for the abandoned pledge to more than $1 million.
The Government yesterday insisted the West Swan land could be used for future transport links to Ellenbrook but the Opposition branded it evidence of a haphazard approach to planning.
Parliamentary documents show in August last year the WA Planning Commission bought 3800sqm on Repton Street adjacent to the proposed Lord Street route for "Ellenbrook transit".
At the time, the Government was touting the bus service as a replacement for the heavy rail line to Ellenbrook it committed to at the 2008 election but abandoned soon afterwards.
The $200,000 land resumption and a $175,000 transport options study, $705,000 concept design study and $5300 promotional material package takes the amount spent on the Ellenbrook BRT to at least $1.09 million.
The Weekend West revealed in August that in February the Liberal Party came within hours of unveiling video animation of a route and artists' impressions of Ellenbrook and Gnangara Road BRT stations and park-and-ride facilities.
Premier Colin Barnett confirmed the BRT was dropped after the projected cost rose from $61 million to up to $110 million, saying it did not make sense when heavy rail was the long-term solution. Planning Minister John Day said Repton Street would stay part of an important transport corridor after being zoned for regional road and special purpose reservation in the 1990s.
Shadow planning minister Rita Saffioti said the Government was all over the place in its planning for this corridor.
"One day they're buying land for the bus rapid transit, another day the Premier says they're not going to build it," she said.