Rail ‘urgency’ not obvious

Mrs Roberts has asked the State Government to reconsider when the northern rail line would be extended from Butler to Yanchep after a parliamentary committee heard it would only take place next decade.

‘It is extremely disappointing ” we have got a growing community with growing demands and growing needs,’ Mrs Roberts said.

‘This extension is an urgent necessity to those living beyond Butler in the fastest growing local authority in WA.

‘In 2011, the State Government deemed the rail extension a priority in its draft public transport plan, so why is it now being pushed back?

‘There are communities being built as we speak that need vital public transport infrastructure.

‘Currently the only option is the limited bus routes around the area.’

Mrs Roberts said Wanneroo had received no direct communication from the State Government about the delay, and she had read it in a State newspaper.

Department of Transport director general Reece Waldock revealed the delay on November 7 when he updated the estimates and financial operations committee, which includes north metropolitan MLCs Peter Katsambanis and Ken Travers, on the draft Public Transport for Perth in 2031 plan, released in 2011.

‘That has been finalised in draft, but it is still a work in progress,’ Mr Waldock said.

‘We pushed it forward in two lots of 10 years, but the second lot is now eight years.

‘The first period will be 2013 to 2023 (and) the second is from 2023 to 2031.

‘The extension of the rail through to Yanchep was always in the second 10 years, and that is maintained.’

Mr Travers said on the original draft, Yanchep was identified as a priority that would be in place by 2020.

The Times found the original draft was still publicly available on a State Government website last week.

Mr Waldock said there had been a number of changes between drafts to include government commitments from the State election.

‘There are a number of issues we are still working through here, including the alignment and number of stations,’ the director general said. ‘The Yanchep one has just gone back because there are other preferred major projects that have been announced by Government.’