Minister enters rail wrangle

Transport Minister Dean Nalder.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder.

Cockburn MLA Fran Logan raised the issue in Parliament on September 18. He said he believed a disintegrating mural would eventually present a danger to the core structure of the bridge, which is located about a kilometre east of Stock Road.

Mr Logan said something needed to be done now as ammonium nitrate, sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide among other dangerous goods were carried along the line.

‘Although the damage to the bridge is on the fascia of the wall it has nevertheless left the reinforcing of the structure of the bridge exposed to the elements for some three years now,’ he said.

‘People who drive past the bridge ask me on a regular basis when the bridge is going to be fixed.’

Mr Logan said Brookfield Rail, which leased the line, was responsible for repairing the bridge.

Brookfield Rail chief executive Paul Larsen said qualified structural inspectors and engineers were continually monitoring the integrity of its railway infrastructure.

‘Our experts have determined that the structure is safe and there is no risk of structural failure, or train derailment as a result of the disintegration of the fa�ade,’ he said.

Cockburn’s engineering and works director Michael Littleton agreed the damage did not appear to affect the structure of the bridge but said Brookfield should foot the repair bill.

‘Brookfield Rail should make an assessment and take the appropriate action,’ he said.

‘The asset belongs to Brookfield Rail and the City has no responsibility for its maintenance or repair.’

Mr Nalder said he had been advised by Brookfield Rail that there was no risk of a structural failure.

‘If I get some sense that it is affecting the integrity and safety of the rail bridge, I will definitely intervene,’ he said.

Mr Nalder said he would call a meeting between Brookfield, Cockburn council and the Public Transport Authority to see if they could resolve the issue.

Mr Larsen said Brookfield was happy to hold discussions and resolve the issue as soon as possible.