THE State Government has been quick to quell concern over a possible delay to the completion of the Aubin Grove Train Station, but the opposition is unconvinced.
On Tuesday, Transport Minister Dean Nalder revealed the final design for the $57m station had been finished, with construction to begin in 2016.
Earlier in the year the Government had promised to begin work by the end of 2015.
A spokeswoman for Mr Nalder moved to clarify that construction would begin next year, but site preparation will begin in 2015, as earlier promised.
“Some forward works in the rail reserve are already underway,” she said.
“Track closures were required earlier this year and there will be more to come.
“Land clearing on the car park side will begin shortly.
“The majority of the construction of the station itself will take place off site initially.”
Yesterday, Mr Nalder said working on an operating rail line and a busy Kwinana Freeway brought a range of obstacles.
“To minimise any disruption most of the structure will be assembled off-site and lifted by crane into place over the freeway and rail line,” he said.
Cockburn MLA Fran Logan said the State Government could not afford the confusion.
He said residents were annoyed with previous delays and Cockburn’s considerable traffic congestion issues.
“The Premier and Transport Minister must come clean and tell residents exactly when construction will start and exactly when resident will be able to use the station,” he said.
Work on the project, which is part of a $105m package featuring the station, two new three-car trains, a bus interchange, 2000 parking bays and the widening of Russell Road bridge to eight lanes, was scheduled to start this year for a 2017 opening.
In a statement released by Mr Nalder yesterday, he said the station is set to be opened next year, although no date was given.
Budget papers indicate the Government could spend $10 million on the project in the 2017-18 financial year, which the opposition says is a clear sign it would not open on time.
Close to 4000 people are expected to board at the station each week day.
For passengers there will be public toilets, a kiosk, ticket and add-value machines, public art, a dedicated drop-off area and bicycle facilities.
The station, to be located between Cockburn Station and Kwinana Station on the Mandurah line, will be serviced by six new bus feeder services.