Train station debate arrives at crossroad

An artist’s impression of the new train station.
An artist’s impression of the new train station.

In an open letter to the Gazette responding to the front-page story Train station derailed Mr Irons also cites residents� concerns.

These include �the potential for higher crime rates, traffic congestion and parking issues and the loss of community village lifestyle and open space�.

Mr Irons goes on to say, �the way the article was framed was as though the Western Australian State Government was stifling the City of South Perth�s progression and was not meeting the community�s needs�.

The City of South Perth reiterated its support for the station, saying the city is extremely disappointed in State Transport Minister Dean Nalder�s comments suggesting the need for a South Perth Train station has not yet been demonstrated.

Member for Swan Steve Irons also criticised the City of South Perth for poor planning dating back to 2009.

�I also advised the City of South Perth that I had checked with the transport minister of the day and was informed that there were no plans and no funding allocation in the forward estimates,� Mr Irons said.

�The City chose to ignore this advice and forge ahead with its plan for a precinct development on the premise that, �if we develop the area a train station will have to be built�. Obviously a poor piece of planning.�

South Perth acting Mayor Glenn Cridland hit out at both the State and Federal governments stating, �the State Transport Minister is unconcerned with providing proper train transport to the area as its (South Perth) population grows and the Federal Government will not fund the public transport option.

�The City now has to deal with the State Government policy, which is fundamentally inconsistent and contradictory.�

South Perth MLA John McGrath is in favour of building the station.

�I have had discussions recently with the Premier, who believes South Perth is now ready for a train station,� Mr McGrath said.

Mr McGrath said he spoke to Mr Nalder who understood eventually there would need to be a station, but cited budgetary constraints and a focus on other projects while giving a commitment to monitor the situation.

Mr McGrath said the growth in South Perth was unavoidable and pointed to the the State Government�s Directions 2031 paper, which is designed to slow down the urban sprawl in Perth.

�You cannot stand in the way of change,� Mr McGrath said. �Our freeways and highways are becoming gridlocked. We must get people out of their cars. We need to provide an expanded and better public transport system,� he said.