THE City of Rockingham’s Planning and Development Committee has recommended that the council take the first steps to abolish the proposal to reinstate the Kwinana Loop Freight Railway.
The eight councillors present voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation.
Mayor Barry Sammels echoed the committee’s concerns.
“Our main concern is that it the proposal has been unresolved for some time now and the railway itself runs very close to residents,” he said.
“Secondly, the proposal did not look at alternative routes and it interferes with buffer zones. We understand there is a need for more rail line, but there has to be alternatives.”
The railway was originally gazetted in 1963 as part of the Metropolitan Region Scheme.
The southern section, from the CBH ‘tear-drop’ freight rail loop to the existing main north-south rail network, via Lewington Reserve and north of Dixon Road, was never constructed.
In 1996, Westrail deemed parts of it surplus to what was needed, so the land was rezoned urban and for parks and recreation. However, this rezoning was thrown into question when the then Barnett Government invited comment on reinstating the railway.
The City strongly objected, saying the railway would be too close to homes, would impact parkland and traffic, the proposal lacked rigour, accountability and would damage the existing planning framework for both the Rockingham Industrial Zone and its metropolitan centre.
The committee’s report concluded that the ‘Kwinana Loop Freight Railway’ reinstatement was a “fundamentally flawed proposal” that ignored the City’s own planning framework.
It stated, “in light of the new political landscape, it is recommended that the City approach the relevant State Government Minister and Western Australian Planning Commission to seek the abolition of the Kwinana Loop Freight Railway”.
The recommendation will presented at the next council meeting on May 23 for council to direct chief executive Andrew Hammond to liaise with Transport, Planning and Lands Minister Rita Saffioti to abolish the railway.