Secretive Saffioti still failing accountability test on Armadale Line closure

Apr 8, 2022 | State News, Tjorn Sibma MLC

Shadow Minister for METRONET, Tjorn Sibma, has criticised the Minister for Transport for repeatedly refusing to answer basic questions in Parliament about her shock decision to shut down the Armadale line from next year.

“Despite the Government’s alleged commitment to transparency, Minister Saffioti refused on three separate occasions this week to come clean on her decision and to justify why the 18- month shut down is the ‘least’ disruptive option,” Mr Sibma said.

“The Minister seems to forget that she is accountable to the taxpayer for the delivery of the multi-billion-dollar METRONET project which has been marred by unexplained cost blow-outs, delays, and soon the most severe disruption to the metropolitan public transport network in a generation.

“The Minister has an unavoidable obligation to demonstrate, rather than merely assert, that her planned closure was the best of all the options she considered. She could also come clean on what these options were and when she started to consider them.

“The Minister could start by answering the simple question – when was the decision to close the Armadale Line for 18 months made?”

Even with COVID related dampening of passenger demand, the Armadale line recorded nearly six million passenger boardings in 2020-21, equivalent to some 16,000 daily trips along the thirty-kilometre-long line.

“Thousands of Western Australians rely on the Armadale Line each day, the Minister needs to show them some respect by demonstrating all the options were honestly considered,” Mr Sibma said.