Premiers plead Turnbull for metro rail money

Two Labor premiers have gotten in early on the prime ministerial changeover, expressing hope this morning that the change of leadership in Canberra would lead to a new approach to funding state public transport projects.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who came to office on a promise to rid Melbourne of the previous government’s controversial East-West Link road tunnel, announced that a significant investment by the Commonwealth in the state’s public transport system would be “fair and reasonable”.

Although the Commonwealth was prepared to contribute $3 billion to East West Link, Abbott was antipathetic to federal funding for city public transport, arguing that the Commonwealth had “no history of funding urban rail”.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also signaled a willingness to work with Turnbull to increase funding. Citing Turnbull’s well-known penchant for catching public transport — and tweeting about it — Palaszczuk stated, “I want Mr Turnbull to now help fund public transport in Queensland.”

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