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Perth Freight Link must go to Auditor General



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THE HON ALANNAH MACTIERNAN MP SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR REGIONAL

DEVELOPMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE MEMBER FOR PERTH

PERTH FREIGHT LINK MUST GO TO AUDITOR GENERAL

The Federal Opposition has formally requested the Auditor General investigate the flawed Perth Freight Link in light of extraordinary comments made by WA Premier Colin Barnett at a recent community forum.

At the North Fremantle Community Association Perth Freight Link forum on August 25, 2015, Mr Barnett admitted of Section 2 of the Perth Freight Link:

“[We] haven’t even selected a route.

“Haven’t decided if it’s going to be above ground or in a tunnel - and tunnels are incredibly expensive.

“Haven’t decided yet what will be done at various interchanges.

“Haven’t designed it.

“Haven’t done the engineering work.

“Haven’t done the environmental work.

“Haven’t done the planning work.

“That connection is still a long, long way away.”

Mr Barnett could hardly find an excuse:

“I wish I could stand here and say I’ve got all the answers. I don’t, and I guess the only excuse I can make is Roe 8 is ready to go. We’re yet to do the work that is required on the connection to the port.”

Freedom of Information documents show that planning for the Perth Freight Link only began in March 2014, two months before funding was committed in the Federal Budget.

Infrastructure Australia’s assessment, done a year later, was highly qualified - and the stated cost-benefit analysis lacks credibility given the uncertainty around Section 2 of the project.

As Mr Barnett’s comments show, there is a clear difference between the level of commitment from the State and Federal Governments to the bulk of this project.

Before the 2013 election, the Coalition committed to testing all Commonwealth funded infrastructure projects exceeding $100 million to Infrastructure Australia analysis, assessing projects based on cost-benefit analysis and improving infrastructure coordination with the States and Territories.

Given that $925 million in Commonwealth taxpayer funds were allocated without due process, the Auditor General must conduct an inquiry into this fatally flawed project.

WEDNESDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: MARK SCOTT 0413 381 060