Federal environmental approval has been granted in an important step forward for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link.
This follows state approvals already granted from the Environmental Protection Agency EPA and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson in late 2019.
The project’s environmental submissions included detailed responses to environmental concerns raised in feedback from the public and regulatory agencies. Some of these concerns included flora and fauna management, noise, vibrations, light and Aboriginal heritage.
Duplicating the rail bridge over the Canning River will occur within an Aboriginal heritage site. In recognising the importance of this site to the Whadjuk people, relevant approvals have been sought, according to Metronet.
Metronet will also engage specialist Aboriginal people to monitor the initial ground work to further ensure there are no heritage sites or artefacts disturbed within these areas.
Fauna trapping will be carried out by a licensed contractor before works begin. Any captured fauna will be transferred to a suitable location under advice from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
NEWest Alliance, made up of CPB Contractors and Downer, will now progress measures to reduce environmental and heritage impact as they build the 14.5km railway that closes the rail gap between the Mandurah and Armadale lines.
There will also be two new stations built at Nicholson and Ranford Roads as well as upgrades to Thornlie Station and Cockburn Central Station.
The project is expected to create more than 1600 jobs and will provide improved connections through Perth’s southern suburbs.