POSTERS used as part of a promotion to garner public support to the City of Perth’s push to sink two railway lines have become an unlikely souvenir, particularly for English back-packers.
Featuring the London Underground logo and the tagline: “As much as we hate to admit it there’s one thing the Poms still do better than us”, the posters are being ripped from the walls of North-bridge businesses.
Councillor Bert Tudori, who chairs the committee charged with furthering council’s aim of having the Perth-Fremantle and Perth-Joondalup railway lines sunk, said the posters had proved popular with backpackers.
“Backpackers are stealing the posters in Northbridge,” he said.
“They’re very popular with them, particularly the British back-packers.
“We took a whole lot of them to the third cricket test at the WACA Ground and they went like hot-cakes.”
Marketforce designed the posters with the intention of showing people that other cities, such as London, had benefited greatly from sinking railway lines.
Council allowed $20,000 for the campaign, which combines the posters with banners hanging in the city and some press and radio advertising.
Cr Tudori said the campaign was designed to raise public awareness that council was trying to have the railway lines sunk and to let the WA Government know that council was serious about the issue.
“I believe the $20,000 has been spent. We’re not planning to do too much more at the moment,” he said. “We haven’t gone full pelt because we want to speak to the minister [Alannah MacTiernan] first.
“At the same time we’re quite happy to embarrass them if we have to.
“The State Government has given nobody any indication
that it will sink the railway lines.”
Council has long sought to have those lines put underground because they have created a scar across the heart of the city and act to separate the CBD from Northbridge.
Hopes rose earlier this year when the WA Government raised the possibility that the line might be sunk as part of works on the Mandurah to Perth rail link.
Besides the advertising campaign council also commissioned international engineering house Halliburton to estimate the costs of sinking the railway line. It is also trying to establish what the land over the sunken railway line would be worth.
Cr Tudori said the Halliburton report concluded that it would cost $60 million to sink the railway line.
“That sounds like a lot of money until you put into the context that Government is spending the $1.4 billion to bring the line up from Mandurah,” he said.
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