Despite the Federal government's announcement it will be decreasing the current funding arrangement with States and Territories for future regional infrastructure projects from an 80:20 to 50:50 split, the State's Transport Minister says the WA government remains committed to projects already in its investment pipeline.
The announcement by Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine King followed a 90 day review of the government's current infrastructure investment program, which adds up to a total of $120 billion.
Ms King said the government will announce 82 projects across the country that have not been given the green light for Federal funding on Thursday.
Speaking on the issue in parliament yesterday, minister Rita Saffioti said the State government did not support Federal Labor's decision.
Fielding questions from the State opposition about the incoming changes and which of WA's infrastructure projects might be affected, Ms Saffioti said she had not yet received formal information as to what other decisions had been made in relation to the infrastructure review.
"We are disappointed with the 50:50 approach for regional projects because WA has 30 per cent of the national highway, and our national highway facilitates billions of dollars in investment and royalty and company tax income for the federal government," Ms Saffioti said.
Despite the future decrease in Federal funding for WA's regional infrastructure projects, Ms Saffioti reaffirmed the State's commitment to supporting projects that were already in WA's infrastructure pipeline and been included in the government's forward estimates.
"What I said the other day is that we are committed to those projects that we have made commitment to and to local electorates and local people," Ms Saffioti said.
"That has not changed, because, as I said, WA is a growing State.
"We are a development State and our infrastructure projects help to connect new economic opportunities and drive national income, whether it be royalties, company tax or excise duty on fuel."
Due to WA's larger portion of national highway projects when compared to the other States and Territories, Ms Saffioti said the 80:20 split was "a better fit" for WA.
"I will be deeply disappointed if the Federal government goes to the 50:50," she said.
The State opposition and The Nationals WA leader Shane Love said the Federal government's decision demonstrated a view that WA's regional infrastructure projects "lacked merit" and don't have any significance on a national scale.
"Projects such as the $200 million heavy vehicle deviation around Pinjarra, $48m for road upgrades, all the upgrades for roads in the Great Southern and in the Wheatbelt area...we see here a complete lack of ability from the State government to ensure that the Federal government understands the needs of Western Australia," Mr Love said.
"WA will always be treated more harshly by a Federal Labor government than they were treated by the coalition government."
"There is a complete breakdown in understanding between the Federal and State governments..."
However Ms Saffioti believed WA was better placed than the other States and Territories to deal with any results of the infrastructure review, due to the government better managing its infrastructure investment pipeline and not entering into "$10 billion commitments".
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