Colin Barnett has conceded the Liberals will not meet their 2008 election promise to start construction of a gas pipeline from Bunbury to Albany in their first term of government.

Colin Barnett has conceded the Liberals will not meet their 2008 election promise to start construction of a gas pipeline from Bunbury to Albany in their first term of government.

But the Premier said the Government remained committed to the pipeline as a second-term project and was confident of revealing its route and funding method by next month.

The Liberals used the promise at the 2008 election in an attack on the "Perth-centric" Carpenter government and came within 89 votes of defeating Albany's incumbent Labor MP Peter Watson.

It promised that the extension of the Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline to Albany would reduce the seaside town's reliance on bottled gas.

But the project hit problems in 2010 when the estimated $225 million price tag doubled after Treasury officials examined it.

Mr Barnett confirmed private-sector assistance would be sought to deliver the project. "Construction won't have started (before the election) but the commitment to the Albany pipeline is very clear and very strong," he said.

The Government has advertised for a project manager and talked to companies that might be willing to build, own and operate the development. As reported by _The West Australian _, one of these companies is Canadian giant ATCO.

Mr Watson said the promise was the Liberals' major pitch to the voters of Albany and they let the city's people down.

He said Royalties for Regions funds had been earmarked for the project a couple of years ago but there was no money allocated in recent Budgets.

"The Premier can announce that something's going to happen in the next election cycle but will the people of Albany believe him," Mr Watson said. "No, I don't think they will."

Trevor Cosh, the Liberals' candidate for Albany, blamed the delay on the State's declining GST share.

"The people will make what they make of it," he said. "It's not always pertinent to get things done in set timeframes but, like Mr Barnett said, he's still going to do it."

The West Australian

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