Melville parks behind precinct

The City of Melville hopes that Murdoch Station’s western carpark will eventually be removed to make way for a new mixed-use precinct.
The City of Melville hopes that Murdoch Station’s western carpark will eventually be removed to make way for a new mixed-use precinct.

The proposed 9.6ha Murdoch Mixed Use Precinct (MUP), which must now be approved by the WA Planning Commission, includes 14 development sites, which will accommodate 900 to 1200 dwellings and more than 45,000sq m of commercial floor space.

However, one major hurdle stands in the way of the development: a Public Transport Authority (PTA) parking lot on the western side of the freeway used to service Murdoch’s busy commuter bus and train station.

The western parking facilities comprise 762 regular, 28-short term and 11 disabled parking bays, with all but the disabled bays usually full on a typical work day.

The entire development site is owned by the State Government, which has leased the parking lot land to the PTA until the end of next year. A Department of Transport spokeswoman said the transport portfolio had worked extensively with LandCorp on the proposal in 2012 but it had since been updated with limited State Government involvement.

“Increased development around Murdoch Train Station in the MUP is broadly supported,” she said.

“However, the removal of the western carpark is not supported and will not be agreed until there is a clear proposal for alternative parking bays to be provided, either at-ground or as a multi-storey development, and which can be safely and efficiently accessed from all quarters.

“The importance with which the Government views park-and-ride facilities to provide access to public transport is evidenced by the delivery of about 5000 additional bays since 2008.

“Murdoch is the busiest suburban train station in Perth, immediately adjacent to a university and the new hospital, and draws on a large catchment.”

In their recommendation to councillors, City staff floated the construction of a multi-storey carkpark on the eastern side of the freeway, or moving the bays to a rail station north or south of Murdoch Station as possible solutions.

Acting Melville chief executive Marten Tieleman said the City recognised the importance of maintaining adequate park-and-ride bays.

“To ensure the community is not left disadvantaged, any options under consideration to replace the current carpark will need to include either the construction of additional bays elsewhere in the Murdoch Centre, or the provision of additional bays at another nearby linked rail station,” he said.

“Further investigation of the advantages and disadvantages of proposed options will help to inform the City’s preferred and final outcome.”

The MUP has been proposed as a two-stage project, with stage one development sites, which do not include land currently occupied by the parking lot, released to the market by the end of 2017.