THE long-awaited Ellenbrook line is now one step closer to fruition, with Infrastructure Australia (IA) adding the project to the national infrastructure priority list.
Infrastructure Australia is an independent national advisery that advises governments, industry and the community on the investments and reforms needed to deliver better infrastructure.
It maintains the Infrastructure Priority List to ensure that public funds are directed towards projects that will deliver the best outcomes for our growing communities, and IA has found the Morley-Ellenbrook line to have overwhelming public benefit.
IA found the Morley-Ellenbrook Line was of strategic importance, will improve and integrate transport options within the corridor, reducing car dependency and easing traffic congestion.
The positive assessment comes after a comprehensive options development identified more than 100 options, before a shortlist of four options were assessed using a cost-benefit analysis.
IA found the project held a benefit-cost ratio of 1.20, providing $430 million in wider economic benefits across the community.
On Sunday the State Government confirmed that construction on the Tonkin Gap project, which will provide enabling works for the rail line, will begin in coming months.
Two companies have recently been shortlisted to deliver the main package of works on the Morley-Ellenbrook line while the major works contract is expected to be awarded later this year.
The 21 kilometre rail line will run up the middle of Tonkin Highway, through land north of Marshall Road, along Drumpellier Drive and finish in the Ellenbrook town centre.
New stations will be built at Morley, Noranda, Malaga, Whiteman Park and Ellenbrook, with the option to build a future station at Bennett Springs East.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti welcomed the announcement and could not resist pointing to previous statements by now-opposition leader Liza Harvey that IA were unlikely to support the project.
“For years, we have been told by the WA Liberal Party that the Morley-Ellenbrook Line doesn’t stack up,” she said.
“Today they have been proven wrong by the Federal Government’s own independent assessment body.
“IA has found the Morley-Ellenbrook Line has strategic value, will improve connectivity and transport links, while improving liveability by encouraging development around stations and unlocking economic potential of the area.”