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Shire of Mundaring and City of Swan councillors hit back against the Midland freight rail line realignment.

Not in my back yard

CONCERNS over the realignment of the Midland freight rail line has left councillors at both the Shire of Mundaring and City of Swan requesting the cumbersome track not be re-built in their jurisdictions.

Councillor Charlie Zannino from the City of Swan lost a motion at this week’s council meeting to write to the Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, asking for a review of a 2018 decision to re-route the trains out of Midland’s town centre “as a matter of urgency to alleviate traffic problems”.

The councillor wanted to ask Ms Saffioti to consider a realignment of the tracks east of the Roe Highway into the Shire of Mundaring and not through Hazlemere, in the City of Swan, as a 2018 report suggested, but retracted this part of his motion just prior to the July 6 meeting.

Cr Zannino initially wanted to request Ms Saffioti give consideration “to a potential realignment of the National Rail Freight Route to a position east of the Roe Highway … within the Shire of Mundaring, so that disruption to all areas south of the existing rail route are fully considered, including the new growth areas that have emerged south of the current rail route, and were not included/foreseen in the earlier inputs to the 2018 Amendment Decision.”

The proposal sought staunch opposition from members of the public with a petition against the idea amassing around 700 signatures.

Additionally, a late item added to the Shire of Mundaring’s council agenda for next week sees Councillor Luke Ellery hit back at the suggestion, claiming the idea would hinder subdivision plans and cause ecological damage to the Helena River foreshore.

“The proposed realignment is inconsistent with Shire of Mundaring Foothills Growth Strategy adopted in 2015, which reflects the State’s expectations for urban expansion in this location,” Cr Ellery wrote in his motion.

“As part of an agreement between the State Government and the landowner/developer, this location has significantly progressed subdivision works for residential development.”

Cr Ellery will be seeking support from fellow councillors next Tuesday to write to the Transport Minister to detail the Shire’s stance on moving the rail line east of Roe Highway.

The existing rail line travels through the centre of Midland on a dual-gauge track.

Previous reports state the volume of freight being transported by rail through Midland is expected to increase significantly over the next 25 to 30 years to approximately 200 to 300 freight trains per week, potentially affecting amenity and accessibility in the area.

In recent years, various studies have been undertaken to address the issue by identifying a feasible realignment option for a long-term relocation of the Midland freight rail line within the Hazelmere/Midland area.

Cr Ellery’s motion is also asking Ms Saffioti to review overall traffic flows in Midland.

Cr Zannino’s motion lost 7/6.

By Rebecca Peppiatt 

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.


  1. A win for common sense and a win for our community. The motion to review was pointless and would have done nothing to alleviate the ‘urgent traffic issues’ outlined. Our community raised concerns with Cr Zannino in the weeks leading up to the vote and were ignored. We showed we have a voice and will not be dismissed so easily.

  2. Are underpasses and overpasses and tunnels out of favor now.

    Decision makers have sat on their collective hands for so long now any solution now will be painful.

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