TRANSPORT Minister Rita Saffioti has taken a swipe at the City of Swan council after it passed a motion asking for the construction of the Bennett Springs East station to be undertaken concurrently with the rest of the Ellenbrook line.
In Ellenbrook line grows (Echo News, June 26), Bennett Springs East was only listed as an option, however Ms Saffioti told Echo News she expected the station would be announced sooner rather than later.
“We’re building the rail line in the area to make sure there’s the capacity to build a station easily, so we’ll basically pre-condition the entire area both in respect to the land we require to the way the rail line is built to have it all ready to go,” she said.
“Once a decision has been made and funds have been committed to that Bennett Springs station, we can then easily build it.”
Despite this, at last week’s City of Swan council meeting, Councillor Andrew Kiely moved a motion requesting chief executive Mike Foley write to the Minister requesting the construction of the proposed passenger rail station, marked ‘Bennett Springs East’ on the Metronet website, be undertaken concurrent to the Malaga, Whiteman Park, and Ellenbrook stations or as soon as feasible.
The motion also called on the State Government to undertake community consultation for a new name of the proposed station.
Cr Kiely reasoned that it would achieve cost savings by incorporating works into a single contract, increase employment opportunities for local workers and ensure public infrastructure keeps pace with residential growth and urban infill targets.
In response, Ms Saffioti thanked the councillor for their input before taking a swipe at them for previous motions moved against the project.
“It is hard to take this motion seriously given a bloc of councillors previously passed a motion demanding we change the Morley-Ellenbrook route – if we had of taken this on board there would be no station in the area at all,” she said.
“The Morley-Ellenbrook Line was a key Labor commitment that many people, including City of Swan councillors have argued against for many years.
“We are delivering a transformational project that will create thousands of local jobs and numerous benefits for our local communities.”