Public transport fares would jump dramatically under the Opposition's transport proposals, Transport Minister Pam Beggs said today.
"The Liberals' refusal to give a commitment on increases in taxes and charges and claims by Liberal leader Richard Court that the Liberals would push for a 50 per cent cost recovery on public transport costs is clear evidence that bus and train fares will top the charges hit list under the Opposition," Mrs Beggs said.
"The Liberals have been caught out on public transport ever since they shut down the Perth-Fremantle railway in their last term of office.
"Richard Court has said quite clearly the Liberals would push for a 50 cents in the $1 fare box recovery on buses and trains. He also claimed the current recovery rate was only 10 cents.
"Obviously if the Liberals have their way, this will mean a 500 per cent hike in the costs of getting to and from work by bus or train. Country people who use the Prospector and the Australind also would be hit hard.
"The alternative is for massive cuts in Transperth and Westrail staff and services and relegating public transport back to the 1960s and '70s when it was regarded as second class.
"The Kennett Liberals have announced 8,500 public transport sector jobs will go over the next three years, including about 3,500 forced redundancies.
"As well, many bus and train services will be closed and some existing services will be given to the private sector.
"The Western Australian Liberals now are espousing the same line as their Victorian counterparts which when it comes to transport means fewer services and fewer jobs."
Mrs Beggs said the Lawrence Government was committed to expanding the public transport network with the introduction of a rail link between Fremantle and Rockingham in 1996 and extending the line to Mandurah by 2001.
"In the past four years the suburban rail system has undergone a radical upgrading program with the electrification of the network and the extension to the northern suburbs," she said.
"The Government's achievements in public transport are unparalleled."