The West

Labor has accused Troy Buswell of making “wild allegations” about the cost of its Metronet public transport plan after the Transport Minister today claimed it would cost $6.4 billion to complete.

Mr Buswell and shadow transport minister Ken Travers traded accusations of hypocrisy today as each called for the other to release detailed costings of their respective public transport plans while refusing to do so themselves.

Metronet includes northern and southern circle lines and a new line to Ellenbrook, while the Liberals have promised the MAX light rail line from the city to Mirrabooka, at a cost Mr Buswell in December put at $1.5 billion to $2 billion.

Neither party has explained how they will pay for their promises but both claim they will release detailed costings and timelines for completion during the election campaign.

“It is the absolute height of hypocrisy for the Opposition to be talking about the cost of public transport (projects) when they have a $6.4 billion heavy rail plan which conveniently links every marginal electorate in the metropolitan area,” Mr Buswell said, claiming the figure was based on “advice I have received from those who build railway lines”.

Asked if that advice had come from the Public Transport Authority, Mr Buswell said: “The PTA have costed up a whole range of options of rail, light rail, bus plans – it just part of what our engagement is with the PTA. But when we examine the components of the information we have available that make up the Metronet plan, the cost is $6.4 billion.”

Mr Travers, who claimed Metronet would be nowhere near as expensive as Mr Buswell claimed, asked how he could put a price tag on Metronet but not his own light rail plan.

“I don’t think anybody in WA trusts a word Troy Buswell says,” he said. “If he is getting the PTA to cost up Labor’s plan then I would be concerned about that.”

The West Australian

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