Shadow METRONET Minister Tjorn Sibma, said today’s opening of the Forrestfield Airport Link (FAL) is a testament to the superior vision and planning of ex-Premier Colin Barnett and the previous Liberal National Government.
“If Mark McGowan and Rita Saffioti had their way, the Government would still be building an inferior version of the Airport Link – one which was built largely at grade, with one station stuck in the middle of Tonkin Highway and another in the long-term carpark far from the actual Airport, with a journey time twice as long as the version unveiled today,” Mr Sibma said.
“Not only did the now Premier and Transport Minister deride the very Liberal project they will claim credit for today, but they also said it would never receive Commonwealth co-funding. However, the previous federal Coalition Government did provide support to the $1.8 billion project.
“Upon coming to Government 2017 the Transport Minister shamelessly rebadged the FAL as part of METRONET. It is the only major component of METRONET that has been delivered after two elections and six budgets.
“Notwithstanding the regrettable delays in opening, the FAL is also the only, and will be the only, METRONET project which will not suffer an enormous financial blowout. This too is a credit to the previous Barnett Government that should not go overlooked.
“The Airport Link was subject to a thorough budgeting process, and the contracts signed by the previous Government protected the State from unforeseen cost escalations. If only the Minister for Transport had ensured the other METRONET projects went through a similar process, then the WA Taxpayer would be saving billions of dollars.”
It is also emblematic of the McGowan Government, with scarcely an achievement they can lay sole claim to, that they are now – at almost the half-way mark of their second term, still opening the very projects they criticised while in Opposition.
“While I don’t begrudge the McGowan Labor Government cutting the ribbon on Liberal projects, they cannot be permitted to continually re-write history and to claim the achievements of their predecessors, as their own work,” Mr Sibma said.