WA government faces criticism over airport project

Australia’s FIFO hub, Perth Airport, has seen air travel demand plateau in the FIFO and broader market.

For the first time in 12 years Perth Airport has seen a decline in quarterly passenger traffic, with domestic travel dropping off in conjunction with the mining sector, SMH reported.

Martin Currie research analyst Andrew Chambers  told SMH that business travel was slowing between commodity rich states as mining companies cut spending.

"Just about every indicator that we follow shows that things have really turned down significantly in Perth…Perth Airport also shows that as well,” he said.

Chambers said that as population growth moved back to the eastern states the FIFO workforce would follow.

Earlier this month saw calls to the WA government to rethink their $2 billion Airport Rail Link Project.

Greens senator Scott Ludlam criticised the government for continuing with the project as short-sighted.

Liberal MP Rob Johnson called for the project to be dumped, saying it could not be justified in worsening economic conditions and increasing state debt.

The WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for an independent assessment of the project to see whether transport needs are still pressing, and to investigate whether other avenues of infrastructure investment could provide better return.

However, premier Colin Barnett stands by the project, saying that the Airport Rail Link is not just for the FIFO market, and would not require reconsideration.

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