New trains, new pains

Local Member for South Perth, John McGrath, rode the first train to Mandurah on the Southern Suburbs railway on December 23, but as the train roared through the South Perth electorate rather than enjoying the view out over the water, he found it difficult not to be reminded of the absence of a local train station.

“The trip was a great experience and I welcome what the Perth-Mandurah rail represents,” Mr McGrath said,

“But it is frustrating that local residents have to put up with the noise and visual pollution of this railway without the benefit of a local station.

“The Minister has continued to push back the South Perth station project. Most recently, in the 2007 Budget, funds were identified for use in 2010-11 however this was only for a planning-stage of the station. The Minister had previously and repeatedly stated that the station would be completed by 2010!

“I have been advised by the Minister’s office that there is evidence (both in Australia and from the experience in Perth’s northern suburbs) that the location of a railway close to developed or new urban areas has positive effects, rather than decreasing property values. However, these benefits are for property values in areas within a one kilometre radius of a railway station,” Mr McGrath said, referring to information provided to him in December 2006 by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

“There is a considerable portion of the new southern suburbs railway in close proximity to dense residential areas of the South Perth electorate. This has generated complaints about noise and other issues,” Mr McGrath said,

“Not to say that building a station in South Perth would necessarily quieten all the critics but it would certainly provide an added incentive to enjoy rather than resent the new rail as well as enabling residents to realise the practical benefits of living in close proximity of the train.

“While I am generally supportive of improving the availability of public transport through the southern suburbs, the project has some significant issues to work out. These problems have evidently flowed from the early planning stages, resonating in the complaints that have been and are still being voiced.”

Mr McGrath assures local residents that he will be keeping a close eye on this matter to ensure the speedy realisation of the Minister’s promise for a train station in South Perth.

Mr McGrath welcomes feedback on the situation.

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