Perth must not fall behind other capitals in late night services

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says the State Government must assess impacts on hospital emergency departments before proceeding with a plan to cancel Perth’s late night train services.

Ms MacLaren made the call after the Government confirmed in Parliament this afternoon that Perth would join Darwin, Canberra and Hobart as the only Australian capitals without regular late night train or bus services if the planned cancellation went ahead.

“Even Adelaide, with a smaller population than Perth, provides a midnight to 5am bus service on Saturday nights to get people safely out of the city,” Ms MacLaren said.

“In 2009, Premier Barnett announced the 2.15am train service as part of a package to improve community safety in Northbridge.

“He revealed at the time that Friday and Saturday nights between midnight and 5am were the busiest times for the Emergency Department at Royal Perth Hospital, with up to a half of presentations being alcohol-related, at a cost of $540 per admission.

“Where is the Premier’s concern for providing community safety now?

“Surely getting people home safely, without them driving intoxicated on our roads or hanging about until dawn, is a key reason for providing late night trains?

“The costs of late night alcohol-related injury, including presentations to emergency departments, indicate that there is more of a business case for keeping the late night train services in Perth than the Government has so far acknowledged.”