New rail cars, buses for Transperth
Transport Minister Troy Buswell.

The State Government will order 15 new three-car trains and 78 new buses over and above its existing bus replacement order as part of a $1.1 billion total spend on public transport in 2011-12.

The new trains will carry 8400 extra passengers, a modest increase in the size of Transperth’s fleet, at a cost of $164 million.

In real terms, the order represents an increase of only 11 three-car trains because four trains that were set aside to service the new Brighton to Butler extension of the Joondalup line were last month pressed into service by Transport Minister Troy Buswell after complaints about overcrowding.

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The Government has announced a huge expansion of the metropolitan bus network, with new routes and extra services on existing routes representing an expansion of the network of 3.3 million passenger kilometres in 2011-12, rising incrementally to 15.2 million passenger kilometres over the next four years, at a total cost of $134 million.

The Government will spend $1.2 billion on roads in 2011-12, including $6 million to widen the northbound Mitchell Freeway from two to three lanes between Hepburn Avenue and Hodges Drive. The project will cost $30 million in total and be completed in 2012-13.

An extra $10.6 million will be spent on the Coalfields Highway upgrade between Collie and the Wellington Dam turnoff. There is $3.6 million for planning of the Roe Highway stage 8 extensions but no money for construction.

The Budget contains $369 million for the Perth foreshore project, with the project’s cost expected to be offset by about $100 million of land sales, and $609 million for the Perth City Link railway sinking project. $57 million will be spent on the creation of a Perth City Square at eastern end of the project area, near the Horseshoe Bridge. The State Government’s contibution to the project is $336 million with most of the rest coming from the Federal Government.

There is $13 million for planning of a new major stadium and $5 million for planning of a new museum but no money for the construction of either project.

Under Royalties for Regions, $86 million will be spent on planning for the "Super Towns" initiative, aimed at boosting infrastructure and services in regional centres in WA’s southern half and $152 million will be allocated to country councils under the Country Local Government fund.

The Government will spend $147 million on the Pilbara cities program in a bid to help Karratha and Port Hedland achieve permanent populations of 50,000 people.

Two previously announced infrastructure projects, the Eastern Goldfields prison and the Pilbara desalination plant, have been deferred, saving $541 million.

In Health, the Government will spend $4.5 billion in infrastructure over the next four years, including $1.6 billion in 2011-12.

Major spending in 2011-12 includes $542 million on Fiona Stanley Hospital, which it says is on time and on budget, and the first down payment of $505 million on the new Children’s Hospital, with construction expected to start in early 2012.

In Education, $850 million will be spent on building and expanding schools, including $52 million to air condition every classroom in the State.

In Energy, $1 billion will be spent upgrading the electricity transmission and distribution network, $80 million for a new power station at Carnarvon, $38 million for the Grasmere wind farm and $263 million for two new high efficiency gas turbines at the Kwinana Power Station.

The West Australian

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