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In a scene reminiscent of Jay Weatherill's infamous stoush with Josh Frydenberg, senior ministers in the WA and federal governments have bagged each other over rail funding while standing side-by-side at an awkward press conference.
The media event with WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti and Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter quickly descended into tit-for-tat, as the two criticised each other over public transport funding despite standing right beside each other.
The press conference drew comparisons to an infamous media event earlier this year, in which South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill labelled Commonwealth energy policy "disgraceful" while standing next to Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.
Mr Porter started the question-and-answer session by criticising the WA Labor Government for not including funds for its promised Ellenbrook train line in last month's state budget.
"It was immensely disappointing for all the people who live in Ellenbrook," Mr Porter said.
"We have provided near to double what was the expected contribution from the Federal Government [for Metronet] and, even with that, the funding for Ellenbrook did not appear in the budget."
After several minutes, Ms Saffioti then took questions.
"Well, this is awkward," she said as she stepped up to the microphone.
"It could be Weatherill and [Frydenberg] in South Australia."
Ms Saffioti then lashed the Liberals for their record on the Ellenbrook project, which it promised to build ahead of the 2008 election but later abandoned.
Porter gets last wordMs Saffioti also rejected Mr Porter's suggestions that WA had already got a big share of funding for its Metronet public transport plans.
"WA does not get a fair share," she said.
"The idea that the Federal Government should not contribute any more funds for infrastructure in WA is absolutely crazy."
As the event was wrapping up, Mr Porter then jumped back in front of the microphones to have the "last word".
"The question for the Labor Government is, if they are committed to the project, why is it not in the budget?" he said.
The proposed Ellenbrook train line, which is estimated to cost $863 million and be completed by 2022, is part of the WA Government's plans to significantly expand Perth's public transport system.
The Commonwealth has already committed $700 million for the proposed Thornlie-to-Cockburn line and Yanchep extensions, but WA is hoping for more federal funding for additional projects.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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