TRANSPORT FOCUS: Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten focuses on a raft of transport infrastructure projects around the country.
TRANSPORT FOCUS: Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten focuses on a raft of transport infrastructure projects around the country. David Nielsen

Shorten to scrap Perth Freight Link support and commit $1b for Metronet rail

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will today announce Labor's plans to cut federal backing for the controversial Perth Freight Link (PFL) and instead offer $1 billion in funding for WA's Labor Metronet rail plan if elected on July 2.

Shorten will be making several announcements in Perth today, among which transport infrastructure plans and funding will be discussed.

The PFL intends to provide a byway for heavy vehicles from the eastern suburbs of Perth to the Freemantle Port, reducing congestion and creating an estimated 2,500 jobs in its construction phase alone.

The Coalition had promised $1.2 billion for the PFL which included a 3.3km tunnel, but Labor has questioned the capacity of the link over the next decade, saying it will reach capacity within ten years.

The Metronet plan that Labor has turned redirected funding to is all about developing new rail lines and improving unsafe level crossings, in a bid to reduce congestion and offer commuters an alternative to buses.

The plan was estimated to have a cost of $5.2 billion when State Opposition Leader Mark McGowan presented it at the last state election.

Labor is set to contribute $760 million to the fully-integrated rail network by 2020 and a a further $240 million in the following two years, an ABC report outlined.

The key priorities of the plan include a Morley-Ellenbrook line, a Northern Line extension to Yanchep, an Armadale Line expansion to Byford and a new Circle Line to link the Mandurah and Thornlie lines, according to multiple reports.

"While the best Malcolm Turnbull will do is take selfies on public transport, Labor will actually build it," Labor said in a statement.

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