Push for Yanchep rail line gathering steam

Push for Yanchep rail line gathering steam

POLITICIANS from all levels of government have said they support a proposal to get rail to Yanchep ahead of present State Government timeframes.

Last month, Wanneroo council agreed to advocate to fast track the rail in a “ground-breaking campaign” with developer Yanchep Beach Joint Venture (YBJV), which made a $120 million cash and in-kind offer to the State Government in 2014.

Mayor Tracey Roberts said the council was also encouraging all landowners in the area to work together and build the case for early delivery.

“By 2020, there is expected to be 95,000 people residing in the corridor between Tamala Park and Two Rocks – and by 2031 that number is expected to soar to 150,000,” Mrs Roberts said.

“Our region desperately needs the rapid delivery of this vital infrastructure to cater for the population already residing in these suburbs, in addition to our future residents.

“It will provide so many benefits, including the reduction of commuting times which would therefore improve health, social wellbeing and productivity.

“Early provision of rail will also support local employment and create vibrant, mixed-use centres as well as enabling the first stages of tertiary and technical trades, education and commercial development.

“Everybody recognises that rail to Yanchep needs to happen – it has always been a question of when.

“We have concerns about the State government’s current timeframes which pushed the Yanchep rail back from 2020 to post-2025.”

At the Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association meeting on Monday, Butler MLA John Quigley said he was working with YBJV chief executive Gin Wah Ang to get other north coast developers on board with the plan.

“YBJV made it abundantly clear to me (that) their offer is not on the table forever and they are not digging deeper.

“We will work hard to bring LandCorp on board – they should be chipping into this money,” he said.

“Gin and I are really going to lean on LandCorp and do all we can.”

Mr Quigley said WA Labor had promised to transfer funds from the Perth Freight Link if it was elected to government next year, and its priorities included rail to Yanchep and Ellenbrook.

However, he conceded it still meant it would be several years before people could board trains at Yanchep. “We couldn’t complete a line up here and do the stations by 2020 if we get elected in 2017,” he said.

LandCorp is one of three developers represented in the Alkimos Eglinton Landowners Group, which called for a joint investigation into “an innovative public-private value capture model” to fund the 14km rail extension from Butler to Yanchep.

The group opposed the YBJV offer because it included a condition that stations in Alkimos and Eglinton not be built on the line for at least five years to allow the Yanchep city centre to develop economically.

The council’s May 24 decision to advocate coincided with the federal election, and Pearce MHR Christian Porter said he was already working with the City and developers “to achieve the best outcome in the quickest time for the rail to Yanchep”.

“I am supportive of the City of Wanneroo’s general approach and have been speaking with relevant developers along the rail line regarding how a future approach to a value capture project might be best structured,” he said.

“Such proposals will not be without their complications and while it is early stages, I do see that getting a co-operative approach between developers, the City of Wanneroo and State and Federal governments represents the best chance to achieve the best projects in the best time.”

Transport Minister Dean Nalder had not responded to a request for comment before the Weekender went to print.