Announcing that a foreign tier-one consortia is the preferred proponent for the lucrative Morley-Ellenbrook rail line is another kick in the guts for WA contractors, according to Shadow Transport Minister Libby Mettam.
The Labor Government today announced the $1 billion contract to MELconnx Consortium (Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction), which is based in the UK.
“This announcement today further highlights that Labor has bungled its WA Jobs Act and is again shipping WA contracts and profits overseas,” Ms Mettam said.
“This is yet another example that highlights Metronet is fast becoming a West Australian project delivered by foreign-led multinationals.
“Yesterday the Liberals announced a $50 million Local Jobs Guarantee. If elected, we will ensure that government contracts like this go to West Australian companies to ensure more local jobs and more profits stay in our State. We will deliver more local jobs than Labor – guaranteed.
“Under the Liberals, local will mean local. Under Labor a local company includes New Zealand, Queensland, NSW and other eastern states.”
Ms Mettam said the local construction industry had every right to feel angry at being overlooked for such a key infrastructure project.
“Unfortunately – it’s not the only one. Spanish owned CPB contractors were awarded the contract for the Yanchep and Thornlie-Cockburn lines and Spanish Acciona subsidiary Coleman Rail has been awarded the contract for Bayswater Station,” she said.
“This is more than $2.5 billion worth of work which is going to foreign contractors on projects which should have been prioritised for WA’s local construction companies.
“This, from a government that promised to support local jobs and businesses, especially those in our construction industry.”
Ms Mettam said at the very least the Metronet contract should have included local mid-tier WA companies, like on other projects such as the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.
She said it was also disappointing that despite the government promising construction of the Ellenbrook train line would commence in 2019, a preferred proponent has only just been announced – a year late.
“This signature rail project has not been funded in the past three State Budgets, with the only funding provided for this project from the Federal Liberal Government,” Ms Mettam said.
“This project is already late and over budget and it hasn’t even started. It’s clear this government has no idea how to deliver transport infrastructure projects.”