WA not happy with Gillard's transport proposal

Federal Government plan to upgrade WA transport infrastructure using mining tax revenue has been opposed by the state's government

August 2, 2010

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s plan to upgrade transport infrastructure around Perth Airport using revenue from the proposed mining tax has been opposed by the state’s government.

Gillard last week committed to delivering the Gateway WA project from the Regional Infrastructure Fund, which will be bankrolled by revenue from the proposed mining tax.

Gillard says the project will reduce congestion, improve safety and travel times and help the West Australian economy grow.

While Western Australia sought federal funding for the project, Transport Minister Simon O’Brien says it must not come from a new tax.

"Labor’s new tax will rob WA of $7 billion out of $10.5 billion in tax revenue in its first two years - money that will go directly to Canberra," O’Brien claims.

"I am particularly keen for the Prime Minister to properly detail how the Federal Government’s funding arrangement for the Perth Gateway project will work."

Gillard has pledged to fund up to $480 million of the $600 million project that is due to begin in 2011-2012.

This includes upgrades to the Tonkin Highway including widening it to six lanes and constructing interchanges.

Gillard has also promised to complete the 4.1km upgrade of the Great Eastern Highway under the existing and next round of the Nation Building Program.

The next round of funding will begin in 2013.

The mining tax was announced earlier this year and is due to begin in 2012 to ensure Australia recoups enough revenue from its resources.

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