The West

Public Transport Authority costings for Labor's Metronet rail plan show the party can't be trusted to fund and deliver major infrastructure projects, Treasurer Troy Buswell says.

The long-awaited costings, obtained by the Liberal Party and revealed today, indicated the opposition's rail plan for Perth would cost $6.389 billion, much higher than $3.8 billion estimated by Labor.

Mr Buswell described the shortfall as a “massive funding black hole” that proved Labor's “inability to add up”.

The main reasons the project would cost far more than Labor predicted related to engineering issues around the airport, where the water table is high, and an upgrade of the existing rail link from Bayswater to the city deemed necessary by the Liberals.

“Bayswater simply can't carry the capacity they are proposing,“ Mr Buswell told reporters today.

As for the airport part of the rail plan, he said it was “not just a matter of digging a trench”.

The biggest problem with the airport link, however, was the planned station being at least 1km from the airport terminal, Mr Buswell said.

He also said Labor's plan to build a new AFL stadium at Kitchener Park in Subiaco, instead of at Burswood as planned by the Liberals, was another infrastructure project that the opposition could not be trusted to deliver.

The stadium plan was announced on Thursday as part of more than $1 billion in savings Labor hopes to achieve to help pay for Metronet.

“They can't pay for it and it won't work,” Mr Buswell said.

“When it comes to the stadium, you simply can't believe them.”

But Labor has rejected the costings and has refused to commit to seeking its own PTA report, which would be submitted to the Department of Treasury for validation, or even getting independent engineers to prove its $3.8 billion price tag is correct.

Mr McGowan said the Liberal-requested PTA assessment used different assumptions, added an extra rail line and overestimated the length of “cut and cover” tunnelling work needed for the airport section of the proposed network by around five-fold.

He also, along with opposition treasury spokesman Ben Wyatt, provided reporters with an email that indicated Treasurer Troy Buswell had held back a document about Metronet, despite Premier Colin Barnett promising all of the paperwork would be released.

This suggested political interference, Mr McGowan alleged.

Asked repeatedly whether Labor would clear the matter up for once and for all by requesting its own costings from the PTA, he said: “It may wind up that’s what happens.

“It may well be that we end up submitting to Treasury or independent engineers.”

But first, he wanted to see the document he claimed Mr Buswell had withheld.


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