Western Australian Senator Scott Ludlam has urged the State Government to make a Perth light rail network a budget priority, with reports that a public transport strategy will go to cabinet on Monday.
"Up until now this has been a campaign of lines on maps. It is time for line items in the budget," he said. "We need a funding commitment from the State Government and an application to Infrastructure Australia to secure Federal funding for light rail."
Senator Ludlam, the Greens spokesperson for public transport, said reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions were just two of the benefits of light rail.
"Light rail offers more than just transport solutions - it can be transformative. We should be talking about how and where we want light rail to stimulate local business and bring life and vitality to our favourite places, whether they be our great universities or major urban centres," he said. "The plan the State Government is considering should be just the beginning - we are looking for a whole of city transport plan and we look forward to seeing what the Government has got in mind."
State Greens transport spokesperson Lynn MacLaren MLC said a comprehensive light rail plan will take significant pressure off the road system and action is needed now.
"The transport plan is long overdue and an essential piece of the planning framework. Hopefully we'll see funds invested in long-term solutions rather than bits of bitumen which won't reduce the heavy volume of truck and car traffic on our roads," she said.
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