Geoff Gallop

Geoff Gallop

Former Premier; Minister for Public Sector Management; Water Resources; Federal Affairs

    Government unveils plan to sink rail, link Northbridge to CBD

    21/01/2005 1:17 PM

    The Gallop Government today unveiled a plan to change the face of Perth, linking Northbridge to the city by sinking the Fremantle rail line and opening up massive development opportunities.

    Premier Geoff Gallop said the Northbridge Link Project would see the Perth-to-Fremantle line sunk to Lake Street, where the new Mandurah-to-Clarkson line would also emerge by 2010.

    Dr Gallop said the sinking of both lines provided the opportunity to transform a derelict area into a world-class commercial, residential and recreational precinct.

    Under the plan, the ageing Wellington Street bus station - currently used by 10,000 people each day - would also be replaced with a state-of-the-art, airport-style underground station by 2011.

    “Restoring the link with Northbridge will deliver massive economic, social and environmental benefits to the city,” the Premier said.

    “With the co-operation of the City of Perth, the Northbridge Link Project can propel Perth into the 21st century and make our city a truly worthy capital of Western Australia.”

    The project is estimated to have a potential economic impact of up to $800million, providing 500 jobs during construction, more than 100,000sqm of commercial and retail space and 2,400 residential units.

    It will enable a King Street/Lake Street traffic connection, improving public safety, access and open space for the area.

    Once the precinct is developed and after revenue from land sales are taken into account, it is estimated the net cost of the project will be $50million (2005 dollars).

    To date, the project has been overseen by the Northbridge Link Committee - made up of representatives from the City of Perth, Public Transport Authority and Department for Planning and Infrastructure.

    Dr Gallop said he was confident that the goodwill that existed between the Government and the City of Perth on this project would see the Northbridge Link become a reality.

    “The plan presented to Cabinet has significant triple bottom line outcomes, including a potential economic impact of $700million-$800million, the creation of new jobs, increased public safety and public open space,” he said.

    “These long-term benefits come at a cost in the short term and the Government will seek a shared contribution from the City of Perth to help cover the deficit.”

    The city had previously resolved to contribute considerable funding to the sinking of the Fremantle line to Milligan Street. However, that proposal was cost-prohibitive.

    The project would be delivered by a State agency such as EPRA, which had a strong track record in urban renewal and extensive experience in managing high-profile projects.

    Dr Gallop said the Northbridge Link Project was part of a wider plan to ensure Perth remained an exciting, world-class city.

    The plan included revitalising William Street and the western foreshore, sinking the Southern Suburbs Railway through the city, developing the Gateway Project east of the city and cleaning up the East Perth Power Station site.

    “These projects are changing the face of our city - we are saying goodbye to Dullsville and welcoming a capital city that reflects our vibrant community and healthy economy,” the Premier said.

    “This goes beyond improving the quality of life for those who work or live in the city.

    “Having a liveable and lively city is an important factor in attracting the international investment and highly skilled workers needed in a modern economy.”

    Dr Gallop said the Northbridge Link Project redevelopment plans were flexible enough to allow for current and potential future uses of the Entertainment Centre.

    Works at the Freeway end of the project could start as early as October this year and the sinking of the rail completed by 2010.

    Delivery of the project would occur over the next 10-15 years.

    It had been independently estimated that the project would provide the following benefits:

    • Potential flow-on economic impact of $700-$800 million.
    • Estimated 500 short-term jobs created during construction period.
    • Between 1,500-2,000 direct and indirect long-term jobs created.
    • More than 100,000sqm of commercial and retail investment.
    • More than 2,400 residential units provided.
    • New rateable income to the City of Perth.
    • Increased public safety.
    • 240-360 affordable housing units.
    • New public spaces created.
    • Transit-oriented development outcome.
    • Increased public transport patronage.
    • Remediation of derelict/unused land.
    • New infrastructure.
    • New built-form performance standards.
    The Government will continue to work on the plan and consult with the community and stakeholders to further refine the project.

    Premier's office: 9222 9475