EPA gives conditional approval for rail from Butler to Eglinton

Carnaby’s black cockatoo. Picture: Georgina Steytler
Carnaby’s black cockatoo. Picture: Georgina Steytler

THE Environmental Protection Authority has recommended approval for the first stage of the Yanchep rail line, provided conditions to minimise impacts to Carnaby’s black cockatoo and other local wildlife are met.

Releasing the EPA’s environmental assessment of the first part of the Yanchep Rail Extension this week, EPA chairman Tom Hatton said the Public Transport Authority would need to take measures to minimise the proposal’s impact on the surrounding environment.

“The proposal to construct and operate a 7.3km rail line from Butler to Eglinton would involve the clearing and disturbance of up to 63.3ha, which includes 48.2ha of Carnaby’s black cockatoo foraging habitat,” Dr Hatton said.

“The EPA has recommended conditions requiring the PTA to acquire offsets to counterbalance the predicted significant impact to the Carnaby’s habitat and a threatened ecological community.”

The rail line building envelope from Butler to Eglinton.

Dr Hatton said conditions also recommended implementation of an environmental management plan to minimise impacts to the Alkimos Parks and Recreation Reserve.

“The EPA is supportive of PTA mitigation measures including noise walls and ballast matting to reduce the impact on current and future residents as well as engineering measures to minimise the risks of dune erosion,” he said.

During public consultation over summer, The EPA received four submissions from agencies and 29 public submissions.

The PTA plans to include a fauna underpass so animals can move through the Alkimos Parks and Recreation Reserve following completion of construction.

The Metronet project includes two transit stations for rail and bus at Alkimos and Eglinton, construction of stormwater drainage and a turnback facility north of Eglinton Station to allow for the turning of two six-car trains, if required.

The EPA is assessing the second part of the Yanchep Rail extension from Eglinton to Yanchep, and will invite public comment later this year.

Its report to the Environment Minister on the first stage is open for a two-week public appeal period until May 20 at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au and the minister will make the final decision.