City of Wanneroo hails State Election campaign after Yanchep rail pledge

 Construction of the Wanneroo Block Road in the 1870s. Pictures: Wanneroo Regional Museum
James Spiers, a prominent pioneer of Wanneroo, ran his own cartage company.
Construction of the Wanneroo plank road in about 1905.
A section of Wanneroo Road showing the jarrah blocks - construction of the block road began in 1871 and the tarring of the road started around 1930.
Gertie Caporn takes her sister, Alma, in the horse and cart to her first day at school in east Wanneroo in 1924.
Berriman family and friends on a picnic about 1910. Horses and carts such as these two and those belonging to Mr Spiers, would have had to regularly travel on Wanneroo Road and experience the road's poor condition.
Wanneroo Road looking north about 1920.
Wanneroo Road in 1965 close to the townsite.
Construction of the Wanneroo Block Road in the 1870s. Pictures: Wanneroo Regional Museum James Spiers, a prominent pioneer of Wanneroo, ran his own cartage company. Construction of the Wanneroo plank road in about 1905. A section of Wanneroo Road showing the jarrah blocks - construction of the block road began in 1871 and the tarring of the road started around 1930. Gertie Caporn takes her sister, Alma, in the horse and cart to her first day at school in east Wanneroo in 1924. Berriman family and friends on a picnic about 1910. Horses and carts such as these two and those belonging to Mr Spiers, would have had to regularly travel on Wanneroo Road and experience the road's poor condition. Wanneroo Road looking north about 1920. Wanneroo Road in 1965 close to the townsite.

THE City of Wanneroo has labelled its State Election campaign, Connect Wanneroo, a success for community support and a promise of rail to Yanchep by 2021.

Through the campaign, the City sent almost 59,000 emails to politicians and candidates, with residents signing 4637 postcards.

“There has been tremendous support from residents, businesses and even from people living outside the City,” Mayor Tracey Roberts said.

“It is important that we hold the new State Government to its pre-election promise to build rail to Yanchep.”

Before the election, WA Labor promised $386 million to start building rail to Yanchep in 2019, including stations at Alkimos, Eglinton and Yanchep, and gave a completion date of 2021.

Mrs Roberts said she would write to incoming Premier Mark McGowan and invite him to visit the City to discuss Connect Wanneroo’s infrastructure requests.

The City’s campaign focused mainly on transport infrastructure to reduce congestion and help generate employment locally, with rail and freeway extensions top of the wish list.

“It is disappointing there wasn’t a commitment to extend the Mitchell Freeway,” Mrs Roberts said.

“We will maintain the momentum for the absolute need for this freeway extension as it is a crucial project for our fast growing community that deserves funding.”

The campaign highlighted that the calls for transport infrastructure went back more than a century, including an article published in the Western Mail on November 9, 1907.

“All that is needed is a really good road or a railway and Wanneroo, it is urged, would give a good return for all the expense incurred,” it said.

Construction of the Wanneroo plank road in about 1905. Picture: Wanneroo Regional Museum

According to Wanneroo Regional Museum, construction of Wanneroo Road started in 1871, with convict labour, then contractors, building it using jarrah blocks.

Horses and carts travelled on the “block road” and had to move on to the sandy verges to pass each other.

Museum records indicate pressure for a railway to Wanneroo started about 1901 and a survey found that would be preferable to the block road, making it easier to transport produce, limestone and firewood from Wanneroo.

Instead of rail, work focused on building Wanneroo Road in the 1920s and it reached Yanchep in 1931.