House debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Constituency Statements

Swan Electorate: Roads

4:42 pm

Photo of Steve IronsSteve Irons (Swan, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Boothby for allowing me to speak before her. I rise to talk about dangerous level crossings in my electorate of Swan, and the state Labor government's broken promise to my constituents on the issue. To make a comment on the previous speaker—talk about hypocrisy! First of all, we heard her talk about aged care and show all her love and affection for the elderly, yet they want to rip franking credits off grandparents, stealing the futures of their sons and daughters. The hypocrisy in that is just unbelievable. Back to my issue: at the level crossings in my electorate of Swan there have been 284 crashes in the last five years. On top of this is the congestion. When I took the previous minister, Minister Taylor, to see the issue at Wharf Street, a car sat at the lights for in excess of 20 minutes—or, as we observed, two smokes for the driver while he was sitting there waiting for the boom gates to come up.

At the 2017 election, state Labor promised that two level crossings at Wharf Street and Oats Street would be removed by grade separation as priority 1 projects as part of its Metronet transport policy—not priority 2, 3 or 4; priority 1. This was promised by Labor candidates to voters in their election material. Two years later, no business case or budget submission has been completed or submitted by the state Labor government to Infrastructure Australia. You look surprised, Madam Deputy Speaker Wicks. You shouldn't be. This is typical of Labor. This is despite record funding provided by the federal Liberal government to the McGowan state Labor government to fund its transport priorities. In the 2018-19 budget the federal Liberal government provided $3.2 billion for Metronet. The funding is there; Labor just needs to get on with it for the residents of my electorate of Swan. There is no excuse for inaction and the dangerous level crossings that they continue to ignore.

But we have heard from the local Labor member, speaking to one of the residents, that you'll have to vote for them a second time to get the level crossings done. We have seen that Labor has managed to prioritise a Denny Avenue level crossing in Kelmscott, coincidently impacting the seat of the Darling Range, where there was a high-profile by-election last year—amazing, that! That's where all their focus went. But now we hear the Labor Party talking about a six-year time frame for Wharf Street and Oats Street. It's not good enough, but it's typical of Labor and the local member, Bill Johnston, who talks loud but does nothing.