When questioned in Parliament about the automatic control system by Shadow Transport Minister Liza Harvey, a month after the date of the briefing note, Mr McGowan said he was «unaware of what the member is referring to».
He made similar statements when asked about the system by Dr Nahan.
Dr Nahan said the government was engaged in a systematic cover-up over the security implications of the $206 million Huawei contract.
«It has to be asked why a state government would risk its reputation to deal with a company that has been banned in other countries, is banned from participating in the 5G network in Australia and is now facing charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice in the US,» he said.
«Given the security concerns that existed when this contract was signed and the high-level international concerns emerging almost daily about Huawei’s operating practices, this contract must not proceed.»
Mr McGowan told Parliament the opposition was selectively misquoting the documents.
He quoted other documents saying the federal Department of Home Affairs had not identified any issues that would prevent the awarding of the contract to Huawei.
«It’s a 4G network – and I’m not a technological expert – a 4G network,» he said.
«It’s a closed system to provide communications between train drivers and their headquarters. That’s all it is.
«Automatic train control is another matter. It hasn’t been committed to, it isn’t being implemented, it’s a whole other project.
«But the advice we received was that there was no problem with the radio system replacement project when Huawei won an open tender process.»
In 2017, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti told an industry magazine the digital radio system to be built by Huawei would be used as a «platform for a future improved train control system«.
«Radio systems are critical to train operations – they are used by operational staff carrying out tasks of almost every type, from customer service staff, to train drivers, train controllers, security and maintenance staff,» she told Rail Express in relation to the project.
«It will also provide a platform for a future improved train control system.
«However, it is critical in ensuring the Transperth rail network is ready for future expansions – including Metronet.
«This project will help facilitate automatic train control in the future, in line with Metronet objectives.»
Nathan is WAtoday’s political reporter.