The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed the Labor Party’s policy shift to construct the much-needed station at Coolaroo but has questioned the four year lag and $36 million pricetag.
“The construction of Coolaroo station should have been an integral part of the Craigieburn electrification project”, said PTUA Vice-President Alex Makin. “This announcement however is welcomed, and a clear admission by Labor that they have made a number of mistakes within the Transport portfolio”.
Electrification to Craigieburn, first promised by Labor in 1999, is expected to be completed by the end of 2007, amid a number of cost blowouts and project delays.
“If the Western Australian Government is able to build Greenwood Station in Perth with 400 parking spots for $10 million it is clear that the $36 million pricetag for Coolaroo is grossly overpriced”, said Mr. Makin. “Similarly the Bracks Government appears to able to build a new station in Ballarat within two years and yet is forcing Coolaroo residents and Melbourne’s north to wait at least four years”.
The Craigieburn electrification project, originally estimated at $33 million with a completion date of 2005 has been revised to cost up to $98 million for the 10km project. The Labor Government has budgeted an additional $36 million for the Coolaroo station.
“It is logical that the station be built immediately, to coincide with the opening of the Craigieburn electrification and the government must come clean to explain the excessively high pricetag. The Coolaroo community have been waiting long enough and need their station delivered sooner”, concluded Mr. Makin.