23 November 2018 – Plans for major network upgrades and increases in capacity on Perth’s Metronet received a boost with Infrastructure Australia, the nation’s independent infrastructure advisor, adding two of the Western Australian Government’s rail projects to the Infrastructure Priority List.
Infrastructure Australia positions the Infrastructure Priority List as the authoritative list of nationally significant investments Australia needs over the next 15 years and under its assessment process has identified the Yanchep Rail Extension as a High Priority Project and the Thornlie-Cockburn Link as a Priority Project.
The move follows the WA and Federal Governments’ release of a Request for Proposal to the market to deliver the two projects under a bundled competitive alliance model back in September.
The projects are two of the biggest ever undertaken in the state with the 17.5-kilometre Thornlie-Cockburn Link set to see construction of two new train stations at Ranford Road and Nicholson Road while new train stations will also be added to the network at Alkimos, Eglinton and Yanchep along the Yanchep Rail Extension. The Yanchep Rail Extension will be a 14.5-kilometre project that will deliver the final section of the Joondalup rail line from Butler to Yanchep.
WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said at the time of the RFP release, “These public transport links will also transform the areas they travel through, from under-utilised industrial or rural areas to bustling new urban centres with a host of residential and business opportunities.”
Infrastructure Australia says the issues of capacity on Perth’s metropolitan rail network is well known and has been recognised by the advisory body previously but will become critical as Perth’s population grows towards 2.9 million people by 2031, and 3.5 million people by 2050.
Acting Chief Executive Anna Chau, said, “Growing urban congestion in Greater Perth has been identified by Infrastructure Australia as a nationally significant problem, driven in part by the city’s limited public transport options and a tendency towards low-density development which has led to high car use compared to other Australian capital cities.”
“Growing urban congestion in Greater Perth has been identified by Infrastructure Australia as a nationally significant problem, driven in part by the city’s limited public transport options and a tendency towards low-density development which has led to high car use compared to other Australian capital cities.
“METRONET aims to increase the capacity and reach of Perth’s metropolitan rail network. As part of the overall program, the Yanchep Rail Extension and Thornlie-Cockburn Link will enable more people to use public transport and reduce pressure on the road network – something which will become increasingly critical as the city’s population grows.”