Engineering, Passenger Rail

WA moves on from Roe 8, progresses Metronet

A pair of business cases are already underway to extend Perth’s Joondalup line to Yanchep, and Thornlie line to Cockburn, Western Australian transport minister Rita Saffioti has said.

The business cases are for the first two stages of the new McGowan Government’s massive Metronet urban rail program.

Mark McGowan last week said he was renegotiating the $440 million contract the last government awarded to a private consortium to deliver Roe 8, the first stage of the Perth Freight Link toll road project.

McGowan said in March he believed the contract, which belongs to a consortium of CPB Contractors, Georgiou, WA Limestone, GHD, AECOM and BG&E, could cost as little as $30 million to cancel.

“We were elected with a clear mandate and we are getting on with the job,” the new premier said last week.

“Our decision to not proceed with the deeply flawed Perth Freight Link project was carefully thought through in the long-term interests of all West Australians.

“This project never made planning, economic or environmental sense…”

McGowan and transport minister Rita Saffioti said they have directed the Department of Main Roads to work with the Roe 8 consortium to bring forward alternative projects “that will reduce congestion across Perth suburbs”.

Meanwhile, Saffioti told The West Australian that a pair of Metronet business cases were underway.

They would progress a pair of WA Labor’s election promises: to deliver they $474 million Thornlie extension and the $386 million Joondalup extension by 2021.

Business cases will be submitted to the Federal Government for approval, with Saffioti confirming the WA Government still plans to access the $1.2 billion in Commonwealth funding originally set aside for Roe 8.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has gone on the record several times saying the Roe 8 funding will not be repurposed for any other project.