Public Transport Authority's full statement

Project background

  • The State Government announced it would proceed with the Forrestfield-Airport Link during the March 2013 election campaign.
  • The Forrestfield-Airport Link project is an integral component of Perth's long-term public transport network. It is designed to meet existing and future public transport demand by providing improved connectivity between the eastern suburbs, aviation hubs and the Perth CBD.
  • Forrestfield-Airport Link project will include three new stations (located in Belmont, at Perth Airport and at Forrestfield) on an 8.5 kilometre extension on the Midland Line in Bayswater, east to Forrestfield.
  • The new rail lines will connect to the Midland Line east of Bayswater Station before diving underground in twin bored tunnels
  • The route follows the Tonkin Highway alignment, then beneath Brearley Avenue into the Perth Airport Estate and will resurface at Forrestfield.
  • The tunnels will minimise the impact of the new rail line construction and operation on the communities at ground level.

Acquisition process

  • Because the Forrestfield-Airport Link is being tunnelled underground, the amount of land along the route at surface has been minimised.
  • However, it is not possible to completely eliminate the need to acquire suitable land.
  • The land is required both for the construction phase, and for car parking at the completion of the project.
  • In August 2014 the State Government released the Project Definition Plan for the Forrestfield-Airport Link.
  • Within a week, the PTA's dedicated lands department wrote to a number of land owners in the vicinity of the planned Forrestfield Station.
  • At this time the PTA advised land owners that we would prefer to settle the matter by negotiation, and that following the passing of the Rail Enabling Act in late-2015 the PTA would have the authority to compulsorily acquire land.
  • The PTA spent the following 14 months (August 2014 to October 2015) negotiating with landowners.
  • All land and property has been independently valued at market rates, and offers for land and property reflect this.
  • During this time, three property owners settled, and terms with a fourth were agreed.
  • When the Forrestfield-Airport Link Rail Enabling Act was passed in October 2015, 14 months after we first contacted landowners, PTA wrote to those who had not negotiated a settlement and invited them to apply for compensation.
  • We also advised them of the nominal 31 vacate date.
  • Since then, the PTA has successfully negotiated vacate date extensions with a number of occupiers.
  • The PTA is happy to discuss an extended vacate date target with the two remaining occupiers but they have still not entered into meaningful negotiations to achieve this.
  • We remain hopeful of reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.

Car park and Local Government planning

  • The land at Forrestfield is required during the roughly four-year construction period and will then be turned into car park near the completion of the project.
  • The Forrestfield-Airport Link will deliver up to 2500 parking bays at Forrestfield Station when the project is complete in 2020.
  • There will be a further 500 bays at Airport West Station (located in Belmont).
  • No parking bays can be located at Consolidated Airport as the station will be located underneath the airport terminal.
  • The Shire of Kalamunda is not the authority on public transport planning. The Public Transport Authority is.
  • History shows wherever a new train station is built demand for parking not long after opening is very strong.
  • The Government is future-proofing this important rail link by providing up to 2500 bays.
  • The future car park mentioned in the Shire of Kalamunda's draft District Structure Plan is not a part of the Forrestfield-Airport Link project.
  • The long-term use and planning for the structure plan area is a matter for the Shire, and the Department of Planning.