Rail for North Perth…?

WITH Labor putting Metronet at the centre of its re-election campaign for 2017, the prospect of light rail through North Perth may not be dead yet.

Voice readers will recall from a series of earlier articles that the Barnett government has all-but abandoned its own pre-election promises for laying rail through the suburb, opting instead for buses. While some laud it as a sensible, affordable compromise, others see it as a blatant broken promise

At its state conference last weekend, Labor resurrected Metronet  — a centrepiece of its failed 2013 campaign — confident the Liberals have little public transport credibility left to counter it.

• WA Opposition leader Mark McGowan and Labor MPs Lisa Baker and Rita Saffioti reckon their Metronet plan will ease congestion through North Perth. Photo supplied

• WA Opposition leader Mark McGowan and Labor MPs Lisa Baker and Rita Saffioti reckon their Metronet plan will ease congestion through North Perth. Photo supplied

WA transport shadow Rita Saffioti is being dispatched to chat to councils, schools and other stakeholders about where they’d like to see the lines installed.

The first Metronet had an extra line running off Midland to deal with the wave of commuters from Ellenbrook, Ballajura and Beechboro that currently clogs up Fitzgerald and Beaufort Streets.

“From both a transport and a planning sense, light rail needs to be an option for Perth,” Ms Saffioti says. “Light rail can give you some real options to improve density and develop some hubs as well.”

WA transport minister Dean Nalder maintains buses provide ”more bang for your buck”.

by DAVID BELL

897 The Classroom

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