WA business welcomes proposed new rail link

The Western Australian business community has welcomed the Government’s commitment to a new rail link but called for a bipartisan approach to infrastructure in the next term of government.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) Chief Executive Officer Deidre Willmott said business wanted all political parties to commit to appointing an independent infrastructure advisory body to develop a long-term infrastructure plan for the state.

“The business community welcomes the proposed rail link between Thornlie and Cockburn – the project will create jobs for WA workers and will save time for commuters, which will increase productivity for businesses across the state,” Ms Willmott said.

“Business was pleased to see the Government commit to the important initiative and that this had been outlined in the ‘Transport at 3.5 Million’ plan – business has however consistently advocated for an independently developed, long-term infrastructure plan for WA, as business owners, investors and the wider community need a 20 year infrastructure vision that goes beyond the short-term political life cycle, so they can plan new investments and make strategic decisions with certainty.

“A long-term infrastructure plan should be developed by an independent body to ensure projects deliver the most cost-effective and efficient infrastructure, that will provide the greatest benefits to the largest group of people.

“An independent infrastructure body would also be able to engage the private sector in financing, designing, building, operating and maintaining infrastructure, which would lead to greater efficiencies and outcomes for delivering both private and public infrastructure works.

“Given the position of the state budget, the financing of infrastructure projects by all parties remains a concern, which is why business strongly supports the sale of assets, including the partial sale of Western Power, and recycling funds into new infrastructure works. Business would also expect that whichever party forms the next State Government would explore various funding options, including public private partnerships, federal funding opportunities and value capture options.

"WA business calls on both major parties to commit to appointing an independent infrastructure advisory body to set out a 20 year infrastructure agenda for Western Australia that goes beyond the political life cycle, so investors and the business community can make strategic decisions with certainty.”

Media contact: Kate Hodges – 0448 928 227

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