Donnybrook-Balingup shire president Brian Piesse calls rail decision to be made

Stuart McguckinSouth Western Times
Donnybrook-Balingup shire president Brian Piesse
Camera IconDonnybrook-Balingup shire president Brian Piesse

Donnybrook-Balingup shire president Brian Piesse has called for a final decision to be made about whether the train line between Greenbushes and Bunbury will be reopened.

He said the unused line through the middle of Donnybrook caused town planning issues for the council.

“We’re still waiting to receive advice from either the mining partner or the State Government as to what is happening in this space,” he said.

“From a town planning point of view, if the rail is not going to get up on this occasion a decision probably needs to be made by Government whether it’s of no commercial value into the future.

“Just having a rail line through the centre of town causes all sorts of planning challenges.”

Federal funding to the tune of $1.5 million was granted to the council to upgrade Donnybrook’s Apple Fun Park in March.

“Depending on whether the rail line is running or not, the plans could look very different,” Cr Piesse said.

“The indication from our local communities is that they would prefer the rail to go through, but if it isn’t going through then there needs to be ongoing support from the Government to maintain the roads’ suitably.”

“But certainly the biggest issue for us is how big a part the rail line plays in our whole townscape.”

Cr Piesse’s comments came after South West Greens MLC Diane Evers promoted a petition to reopen the line.

Ms Evers will present the petition to parliament later this year.

“I have supported calls for the re-establishment of the tier three Bunbury to Greenbushes rail line since last June as a solution to an over-reliance on road haulage,” she said.

“The oncoming Talison lithium mine expansion in Greenbushes is projected to result in an estimated truck movement every seven-to-eight minutes on South Western Highway.”

She said the State Government owned the Greenbushes-Bunbury rail corridor and had leased it to Arc Infrastructure.

“If Arc determines it would be uneconomical to return the line to operating condition, there should be action taken by the State Government to resume control,” she said.

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