Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government has started and escalated a new bidding war to get Western Australia’s votes in the next election, having announced $3.2 billion AUD in infrastructure funding for the state.
This package proudly puts forward $500 million AUD funding for the Ellenbrook train line, which has been long awaited by WA residents. It also adds funding for different parts of the WA State Government’s public transport plans around Metronet alongside major road development projects for Perth.
Speaking to a Perth radio station, Mr Turnbull said that they were funding projects that would “relieve congestion” with “better roads” as well as “improving the public road network”.
When asked, Mr Turnbull denied that he was copycatting his Labor counterpart Bill Shorten who had already promised major funding for infrastructure should he win the next election.
Mr Shorten had already pledged $700 million AUD would go to the Ellenbook train line in a fund of $1.6 billion that would foil the state’s GST short fallings. Mr Turnbull said that he wanted to build “congestion busting” projects in WA.
Mr Turnbull emphasised that his policies were from a basis of wanting to improve growth and prosperity while saying that Mr Shorten would crush the economy with over regulation and higher taxes.
As well as promising money towards the Ellenbrook train line, Mr Turnbull said he will spend federal dollars to extend the Armadale train line to Byford and to relocate Midland station.
This announcement means that the WA Government will be happy to have funding promised for their infrastructure projects no matter which party wins the next election. This is no doubt a big boost for Western Australian’s who have historically felt neglected by successive governments in Canberra.
The announcement by the Prime Minister also promised a lot of cash towards major road projects and road extension. There is also a commitment of $189 million for hospital infrastructure in WA.
This generous splashing of money from the Government is no doubt in response to both Mr Shorten’s election pledges as well as growing voter disillusionment in WA. The states notoriously low revenue cut from the GST has made WA votes incredibly sceptical of government policies regarding the state, or lack thereof.
Western Australia has always been the wild and untamed west where most gross domestic output came from mining in the state. This has lead WA residents to be resentful of Eastern states that get more federal attention but are responsible for fewer exports.