Labor has released new details of its plan to build a railway line to Perth Airport, revealing it will be a 10.5km track from the existing Midland line to Forrestfield, cost $731.5 million and be built by mid 2018.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said under the Metronet public transport blueprint for Perth, the airport line would commence under a Labor government in 2014-15.
The $731.5 million price-tag would include rail and road infrastructure but not railcars.
Its stations would include new rail stations called Airport West/Redcliffe, Perth Airport and Forrestfield/High Wycombe.
The airport line is the first of five so-called “priority program” components of Metronet which Labor has pledged to commence in the first eight years of the blueprint.
It says the priority program will cost $3.8 billion.
A week ago Treasurer and Transport Minister Troy Buswell said Metronet would cost $6.4 billion but he declined to explain what parts of the blueprint he had costed.
Mr McGowan said unlike the Liberal Party, which had only indicated it would look at an airport line after 2021 under a vague plan which would cost up to $2 billion, Labor understood it was needed now.
“If current passenger growth rates continue, it is likely Perth Airport will have more than 20 million annual passenger movements by 2020,” he said. “This will place extra pressures on the airport and the roads leading to it.”
“WA Labor is the only party in this election with a real plan to fix Perth’s congestion crisis.”
Mr McGowan said Main Roads estimated it currently took 53 minutes for Forrestfield and Kalamunda residents to drive to the city during peak periods.
“WA Labor’s airport rail line will allow them to make the journey within 40 minutes, creating a major incentive to leave cars at home,” he said.
He said the Barnett Government’s proposed airport rail line included a 5km tunnel which would be “prohibitively expensive” and unlikely to ever be built.
“The Liberal Party has not built a centimetre of operating rail in Perth and has a history of broken promises, including the Ellenbrook rail line,” he said.