Fight for local identity in Kalamunda

A map of the new design for the carpark in the Forrestfield North Draft Plan.
A map of the new design for the carpark in the Forrestfield North Draft Plan.

THE Kalamunda Shire will consider a new name for the proposed Forrestfield rail station area.

High Wycombe landowners are concerned the process of installing a rail line to Forrestfield for the airport has been “railroaded” by the Public Transport Authority with no concern about local identity.

They have the support of new Shire President Andrew Waddell.

Landowner Rob Fagnani said the name of the area was something local landowners disputed.

“They have called this the Forrestfield rail line but it’s actually in High Wycombe and it would be good if it could be named appropriately,” he said.

Cr Waddell, who used to be the Forrestfield MLA, said he had been inundated with messages of support since he called for an independent parking study of the proposed station precinct.

The former Labor politician said he had some concerns with the rail plan in Forrestfield and he hoped for a productive relationship with Forrestfield MLA Nathan Morton.

Cr Waddell said it would be possible to rename the area completely with the new proposal for the train station.

He expected the council to consider this over the next 12 months.

“We could certainly create a new suburb name,” he said.

“I’m hoping it doesn’t become a political football and a battleground for the next State election.”

The Shire of Kalamunda has told ratepayers it will engage a consultant to hold a parking study to determine the total number of parking bays required for the Forrestfield Station.

Meanwhile a major milestone has passed in State Parliament for the development of the Forrestfield-Airport Link.

The $2 billion project was passed through the Legislative Council on Monday.

Called the Forrestfield-Airport Link Bill 2015, it will establish the State Government’s authority to extend the metropolitan rail network 8.5km to Forrestfield.

The first trains are expected to run on the line in 2020.

Mr Morton said the project would not just open up a new rail corridor to Perth’s eastern foothills. It would also provide a direct rail connection to the airport.

The rail link will connect to the Midland line near Bayswater station and will run to Forrestfield through underground tunnels.