Land sales may fund station project

SELLING WA government land in Bayswater has been suggested as a means to fund the undergrounding of the local train station.

Mayor Barry McKenna says WA transport minister Dean Nalder was open to his suggestion to sell land just upstream of Riverside Garden during a “very productive” private meeting on Tuesday.

Cr McKenna says the land, under the auspices of the public transport authority, is “very valuable” and its sale could fund the $300-million undergrounding project.

The pair’s meeting follows community concerns over Bayswater station being shortchanged on the $2 billion Forrestfield-Airport Link project: all it’s slated for is a new disability access ramp.

Publicly, Mr Nalder is sticking to the government’s line that Bayswater council missed the boat for a station upgrade because it failed to submit a properly developed vision for its town centre.

But Cr McKenna left Mr Nalder’s office with high hopes, as well as a promise to reconvene in February or March to discuss feasibility options.

“It was a very productive meeting with the minister,” Cr McKenna told the Voice. “He even had two advisers there with him and he was asking for reports into what the government can do with our town centre. There are no guarantees or concrete plans, but I’m pleased with the minister’s approach.” Cr McKenna was accompanied by deputy mayor Stephanie Coates and CEO Francesca Lefante.

by EMMIE DOWLING

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