Population growth derails master plan
Shelved: The MAX light rail plan. Illustration: Supplied

The State Government is yet to commit to any of the "stage 1 transformational projects" identified in its draft public transport master plan for 2031.

The plan, prepared by the Department of Transport and released in July 2011, was the product of two years work and made recommendations about projects to be built by 2020 and by 2031.

The 2020 stage 1 projects included:

· A light rail system from Mirrabooka to Perth and the University of WA to Curtin University.

· Extending the northern rail line from Butler to Yanchep.

· Building bus rapid transit to link Morley, Bassendean and Ellenbrook; Victoria Park and Burswood; Stirling and Glendalough; and Canning Bridge and Curtin.

The 2031 stage 2 projects were:

· A rail link from Bayswater to Perth Airport.

· Light rail from Subiaco to Stirling; and Victoria Park to Oats Street.

· Extensive bus rapid transit links across the metropolitan area.

Three years later and of the proposed heavy and light rail projects, the Barnett Government has committed only to the airport rail link.

A decision on the MAX light rail project, which is broadly in line with the master plan proposal and was promised in last year's election campaign, has been shelved until after the 2017 election.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder told _The Weekend West that the final public transport master plan was with his office awaiting consideration, Cabinet endorsement and then public release.

Asked why the Government had chosen different priorities to those outlined in the draft plan, Mr Nalder said: "The stage 1 projects in the draft plan have not changed in priority, but the likely timeframe for delivery is impacted by changed economic and fiscal conditions.

"The change in timing for the airport-Forresfield railway reflects the higher demand from the revised population forecasts for Perth, the opportunity to extend the railway to Forrestfield and urban development opportunities in the Forrestfield area."

Shadow transport minister Ken Travers said Mr Nalder's position did not make any sense.

"With population growing faster than was projected, those (stage 1) projects are needed more than ever to get cars off our roads," he said.

"Population growth is already happening in Ellenbrook, south of Canning Vale, north of Wandi and growing like Topsy."

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West