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One of Perth's most vibrant suburbs has lashed out at the state government, calling them "shortsighted" over Metronet plans they say threaten to destroy the amenity of the area.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti announced on Tuesday a sky rail would be built along the Armadale line, with community spaces planned for underneath the tracks and around the stations.
The Town of Victoria Park says its been sidelined by the state government. CREDIT:
As part of the project, which mirrors a similar line in Melbourne's south-eastern corridor, level crossings and boom gates would be removed to link communities separated by the tracks.
But the Town of Victoria Park, home to five stations along the rail corridor, said it had been sidelined from the multi-million dollar project and "robbed" of the opportunity to have its say.
Mayor Karen Vernon said the announcement was disappointing and did not go far enough to transform the area into a thriving hub with new higher-density development around public transport, walking paths and cycling lanes.
"Our preference is for the government to go much further, by undergrounding the rail line along this corridor," she said.
"While we have been working with the Metronet team, this announcement is another example of state government sidelining local government under the guise of bringing this project forward for economic stimulus following COVID-19."
The council had been campaigning for the railway to go underground since 2019, warning in a report released last December that a breakdown in cooperation with the state government could threaten the area's housing targets and stunt local economic growth.
Victoria Park has been tipped as one of four metropolitan councils to do the heaviest overall lifting to increase population density under the Perth and Peel@3.5 million framework, with targets to double their existing numbers of homes by 2050.
Since the state government framework was released in 2018, plans to concentrate urban property development around major highways with good public transport have been included into precinct planning by the council.
This article first appeared on www.watoday.com.au
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