The Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas says that the Infrastructure Western Australia discussion paper released yesterday is too focussed on the political goals of the McGowan Government and gives too little attention to the need for specific infrastructure development.
“Yesterday’s document was described as a “draft State Infrastructure Strategy” when it was released, but it is not” Dr Thomas said. “It is an outline of some principles which might underpin this plan to develop a plan.”
“Whilst the principles themselves are generally reasonable, this embryonic document is a long way from a plan.”
Dr Thomas said that the document failed to identify any priority infrastructure except the Government’s pet projects of Metronet and the planned Westport Outer Harbour in Kwinana.
“It concerns me that even in its embryonic form this plan appears to be written to underpin the Labor Party’s agenda,“ Dr Thomas said.
“There are 88 recommendations in this paper, the vast majority of which relate to research and policy development. This raises the question of what the Government has being doing for the last four years plan to develop a plan that they promised in 2017.
“In the lead up to the 2017 state election Mark McGowan promised to establish ‘Infrastructure WA, an independent advisory body’ and to ‘develop a State Infrastructure Strategy.’
“Four and a half years later we now have plan to develop that plan.
“My greatest concern is the lack of identified infrastructure priorities apart from the two pet Government projects.
The Premier’s media release yesterday states – ‘Several recommendations reinforce State Government initiatives underway’.
“It is a pity there weren’t any recommendations in other areas like health or housing, but perhaps they are not on the Labor Party’s agenda,” Dr Thomas said.
“I would like to remind the Government and the Infrastructure WA Board that the McGowan Government promise for the 2017 election was for the process to be “independent”.