Thornlie-Cockburn Link clearing plans up for environmental review

Stock image.
Stock image.

PLANS to clear up to 55ha for the Cockburn to Thornlie Metronet rail extension have gone out for public review ahead of an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) assessment.

The EPA has asked for submissions on the Public Transport Authority’s (PTA) proposed 14.5km long dual railway track, which will extend the existing Thornlie passenger line through to Cockburn Central Station and incorporate two new stations at Ranford and Nicholson roads in Canning Vale.

The proposal also includes duplicating the existing 3km of single track between Beckenham Junction and Thornlie Station and the relocation of 11km of freight line.

According to the EPA overview, the project would see up to 54.9ha of native vegetation cleared, including 22.8ha in Bush Forever areas.

“Up to 2.85 ha of Banksia Woodland of the Swan Coastal Plain Threatened Ecological Community, 27.64ha of black cockatoo foraging habitat and 96 potential black cockatoo habitat trees are proposed to be cleared,” it said.

An Aurora Environmental report prepared for the PTA said the Thornlie-Cockburn Link development envelope was entirely within the modelled distribution range for Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo and the Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

“Both Carnaby’s and Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoos were recorded within the survey area via direct observation and secondary evidence of feeding,” it read.

“A total of 176 potential breeding trees were recorded in the survey area; none of the potential breeding trees had evidence of being previously used for nesting and none had suitable hollows for current breeding.

“Within the development envelope there are 64 potential breeding trees that may be suitable for hollows to form, and therefore potentially support future breeding.

“Sixteen of these are within Tree Protection Zones at Tom Bateman Reserve and near the Canning River and are therefore not proposed to be removed.

“The remaining 48 potential breeding trees may be cleared as part of the proposal.”

Submissions close on June 17.

Visit consultation.epa.wa.gov.au/open-for-submissions/thornlie-cockburn-link-per to make a submission.