Price fairness for home claimed for Forrestfield Airport Link

Chris and Tina Sheehan, of High Wycombe, with Josh (4).  Picture: David Baylis        d446636
Chris and Tina Sheehan, of High Wycombe, with Josh (4). Picture: David Baylis        d446636

A HIGH Wycombe family whose home has been claimed by the State Government have been offered a fair price, according to Transport Minister Dean Nalder.

Chris and Tina Sheehan face an uncertain future after being told their Sultana Road property would be claimed to make way for the Forrestfield Airport Link.

Their home and business is slated to become a carpark.

The Sheehan family have been issued a ‘taking order’ by Landgate, via the Public Transport Authority, under the Railway Act 1903. They must vacate their home by the end of January to allow for construction of the new railway line.

Shire of Kalamunda President Andrew Waddell said the ruling was “un-Australian”.

“It’s really unfortunate that the Government is acting in such a unilateral way to put a family under such stress,” he said.

“There is a right way and a wrong way to do things and this is the wrong way.”

Cr Waddell said the PTA was acting despite the lack of good planning outcomes.

“They are destroying the community and destroying people’s lives in the process,” he said.

Mr Sheehan operates a transport company from the premises and employs seven staff. He bought the land, which is zoned light industrial, three years ago to build his home and business.

“I have been offered a price which is at the residential rate, but we own industrial land here,” he said.

Lawyer Tim Houweling, who represents the Sheehans, said it was not clear that the Government had acted lawfully.

“We are extremely concerned at the speed with which this Government has decided to reclaim this land,” the Cornerstone Legal advocate said.

“It seems extremely rapid.”

Mr Nalder said he did not believe the timing was too fast.

“The timing is not before Christmas, it is late January and I support what the department is doing,” he said.

“The Sheehan family in High Wycombe had been offered fair compensation for the land they own. I can assure you that I have had a close look at this and that it is a fair and generous offer.

“We identified land if they were concerned about relocation and there is a proper process as far as the valuation is concerned and I am comfortable with that.”

Mr Sheehan said the land offered to the family on Leach Highway was completely unsuitable for a trucking company and had only a 6m frontage, which would not allow access for a semi-trailer.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said the family had been given 10 weeks’ notice.

“Sultana Road West is a long way from the train station and the carpark proposed for the area, so why is the Government reclaiming this land?” Ms Saffioti said.