Hopes for return to Kenwick plan dashed

HOPES of the WA Government changing its mind and re-routing the Mandurah-Perth line via Kenwick instead of down the Kwinana Freeway appear to be dashed.

Rumours had been circling, on the eve of the release of the Perth Urban Rail Development committee’s report to Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan, that the committee would recommend the Kenwick option.

However, it is understood the Stuart Hicks-chaired committee’s terms of reference only allowed it to consider options for the siting of the railway station in the Perth CBD.

It was not allowed to consider any route other than the Kwinana Freeway.

Opponents to the freeway route believe that option will cost the WA Government an extra $1 billion, will not serve the maximum number of passengers and will create havoc within the CBD.

The Government’s released opt-ion for entry into the city involves tunnelling under William Street and siting the Mandurah line railway station between Hay and Murray Streets – several hundred metres away from the Perth Rail-way Station.

A spokesman for Ms MacTiernan said he was unaware of anyone within Government considering returning to the Kenwick route.

Perth Urban Rail Development manager Peter Martinovich said there was no way the Government would consider any route other than the freeway.

“The Government has made a strategic decision to follow the freeway and I don’t think they will back away from that,” he said.

Former Transport Minister Eric Charlton said sources within Transport were opposed to the freeway option and were actively pushing for a return to the Kenwick route.

“I’ve always believed the freeway option would not go ahead,” Mr Charlton said.

“As I understand it, Transport is going to recommend to the Minister that the Kenwick route be chosen and that the freeway option is returned to at a later date,” Mr Charlton said.

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