Airport rail link parking study ordered to protect landowners: Kalamunda

Maida Vale landowner David Bacchion has engaged a lawyer to ensure the process of his land being reclaimed for a rail-airport link carpark is an honest one. Picture: David Baylis d443858
Maida Vale landowner David Bacchion has engaged a lawyer to ensure the process of his land being reclaimed for a rail-airport link carpark is an honest one. Picture: David Baylis d443858

KALAMUNDA Shire councillors have remained strong, voting unanimously for an amended resolution on the Forrestfield North District Structure Plan to protect landowners near the new airport-train link.

Councillors determined the needs of local landowners to be more important, despite an 11th hour visit from Transport Minister Dean Nalder and Forrestfield MP Nathan Morton who supported the original proposal.

Forrestfield Ward councillor Andrew Waddell’s resolution stated that council would adopt the plan with modifications to the parking strategy only if an independent parking study was conducted and seek to identify suitable land for the purpose of relocating landowners who wished to continue operating in the Shire.

Cr Waddell said transport minsters would come and go, but the Shire of Kalamunda would have to live with its decision for the next 30 years.

A lawyer representing some of the landowners said the new resolution left the way open for strong compensation claims from landowners if the State Government ignored the Shire’s amended resolution in future.

Linda Rowley said it was revealed through freedom of information (FOI) documents that the Department of Planning (DOP) was considering a planning control area over all of the land within the structure plan, including the land earmarked for a carpark.

Another government department, Landcorp appears to have been involved in the airport-train link land assembly development for a use other than a carpark.

Landcorp chief executive Frank Marra said in a letter (seen under FOI) to the DOP three months ago that “Crown land or an acquisition program (for private land) will be part of a land assembly and development strategy to stimulate private sector investment”.

“Landcorp has undertaken this role previously enabling the State to amalgamate, develop, sell land and return funds to the State,” Mr Marra said in the letter.

However Ms Rowley said this was not the job “of governments,” at last Tuesday night’s special council meeting.

Cornerstone Legal Lawyer, Tim Hoeuwling said the council needed to send a strong message to the state government that a land grab would not be tolerated.

“A study needs to be done on the car parking and it needs to be independent,” he said.

“These people (his clients) are not the fodder required to provide that land for the government for their land grab,” Mr Hoeuwling said.

After listening to the lawyers, Cr Waddell told his colleagues “we want it to be a viable plan for the future”.

Cr Waddell said he wanted an outcome through his amended resolution that would be good for three parties.

“The landowners, those who wished to be relocated and the PTA,” he said.

Cr Simon Di Rosso said he was pleased that the lawyers had presented their positions on behalf of their clients, raising the risks and the issues for the area’s planning control overlay.

“A big broad brush approach wont work here and we don’t want to be removed from the decision making process as a council.”