JOSHUA DIONG, JACOB O’REILLY, CHRIS THOMSON & ALICIA VILCHES
The City of South Perth will petition the State Government to re-elevate the mooted South Perth train station back onto the public works list after the State’s draft blueprint for Perth’s transport network abandoned the station until at least 2050.
A business proposal commissioned by the city claims the development potential of the area around the mooted train station was initially underestimated.
“… the developer confidence in the South Perth area for considerably higher density development has surprised a number of stakeholders …” states the business proposal by a consulting company called MacroPlanDimasi.
The train station, initially planned to open in 2010, was deferred to 2013, and since then has never returned as a Barnett Government priority.
The MacroPlanDimasi proposal concludes that a South Perth train station could achieve 4365 to 5447 passengers a day by 2026.
Although voting unanimously this week to approach the Government to get the station back on the priority list, South Perth’s mayor Sue Doherty, and the city councillors we did make contact with, were unanimously silent when approached yesterday by Western Independent.
Ms Doherty, Councillor Fiona Reid who moved the motion to approach the government, and Councillor Ken Manolas declined to comment. Efforts to contact Cr Travis Burrows who seconded the motion, and Cr Cheryle Irons were unsucessful.
Curtin University Sustainability Professor Peter Newman said South Perth was an obvious place for a station as it is so densely populated.
“Realistically, the council should put a levy on all construction in the area and use those funds for the transport infrastructure that current residents need,” he said.
Jarryd Thraves, who bought an apartment in a nearby 35-level apartment block that is being built said a train station would help accommodate the growing number of people in the area.
“I don’t see people who would be against it…it provides easy access and it can attract people to the zoo,” Mr Thraves said.
The business proposal stresses that patronage growth at Perth Zoo – from 528,880 visitors in 2003-04 to 695,091 in 2015-16 –also helps justify a station at South Perth.
Cameron Robertson, a South Perth local, supports the proposal, saying it would help him get to the University of Western Australia where he studies.
“I [would] get to avoid the freeway traffic and don’t need to worry about parking,” Mr Robertson said.
“It might mean less people will drive, which can only be a good thing.”
Justin Richardson, a local tradesperson, said parking around the area was expensive, with fares ranging up to $20 for a full day.
“It’s a busy area and there’s a need for transport in such areas,” Mr Richardson said.
Joondalup resident Julie Morgan, who was cycling around the South Perth foreshore with friends from overseas, said the train station was a “wonderful idea” as it would ease congestion on the South Perth ferry.
Construction of Aubin Grove station, also on the Mandurah Line, in Perth’s outer southern suburbs, is well underway and expected to be completed by early next year.
The Government’s Draft Perth Transport for 3.5 Million and Beyond Plan, public comments on which closed this week, made no reference to the South Perth Train Station. Unless the council is successful in getting the train station into the final plan, South Perth is unlikely to get a train station until at least 2050.