Australia: Curtin Uni Light rail Link Plan on Hold

The future of Perth's light rail network was in doubt after it was revealed the proposed connection to Curtin University had been dropped from the State Government's latest modelling.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell confirmed yesterday that light rail to the university would not be completed by 2020 as stated in the draft Perth Public Transport Plan released last year.

Buswell would not confirm whether the proposed University of WA/Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre connection would go ahead as planned.

The Curtin, UWA and Mirrabooka lines were earmarked as Stage 1 projects in the draft plan.

They were to be running by 2020 before Stage 2 projects, including light rail to the airport and through Subiaco, started.

The latest planning had made the Mirrabooka line a priority because of limited funding, Mr Buswell said.

These are very expensive projects first to plan, then to build and then finally to operate, so our decision was that the area we would deliver the light rail to first would be Mirrabooka, he said.

Some people may be disappointed about that but ultimately we have a finite amount of capital to spend and we have to prioritise how we are spending it.

Shadow transport minister Ken Travers said the Government should be moving public transport infrastructure such as light rail forward, not pushing it back.

The Government clearly doesn't understand that we are facing a congestion crisis, he said. They need to stop making bad decisions and get their priorities right.

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