Rail land earmarked for Subiaco infill
West Leederville’s railway reserve has been identified as an area for major redevelopment in Subi East.
The railway land was named alongside Subiaco oval and the Princess Margaret Hospital sites at a joint event for LandCorp and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority last week.
The two state agencies, which are to be merged, control the redevelopment of the 36.5ha between and around the former oval and hospital.
Authorities are reluctant to provide any details about what could happen on the railway land but well-placed sources confirmed they wanted to build over the tracks.
That option is being explored. Earlier this year, Housing Minister Peter Tinley told a parliamentary committee an investigation was under way to look at the feasibility of covering the railway line ( Proposal to cap railway at Subi East, POST, June 9).
Mr Tinley’s remarks were the first acknowledgment that the railway could be covered as part of the redevelopment.
But the relevant bodies will not be drawn on the idea.
LandCorp chief operations officer Dean Mudford said the railway reserve was included in the Subi East project area.
“The area is bordered by the rail line, as well as the adjoining cycle way and pedestrian links, making West Leederville station a key transport node/destination for Subi East residents, workers, students, and visitors,” he said.
“Therefore it is incorporated as part of the planning process to ensure the most appropriate development outcomes are considered.
“Visioning for the broader precinct is currently under way, so it would be premature to comment on potential capping of the railway.”
Public Transport Authority spokesman David Hynes said they were working closely with LandCorp and the MRA on planning for the new precinct.
Mr Hynes said an MRA map showing the Subi East project area boundary going right up to Railway Parade in West Leedeville was not proof of anything.
“The map you refer to shows only a designated planning area and not any intention to cap the rail line at this stage,” Mr Hynes said.
“The PTA will not speculate on what disruption could be caused by a theoretical project that is in the planning stages and unfunded.”
A master plan and a business case for Subi East that were expected to be ready before Christmas, will now not start until the New Year.
In May, Planning Minister Rita Saffioti told Parliament that a business case and master plan for the project should be ready before this year was out.
At that point, she said, $6million had been set aside for the planning and necessary forward works.
“Hopefully, by the end of the year we will have the business case and the master plan developed,” Ms Saffioti told a Legislative Assembly estimates committee.
“There are a number of milestones, which include the inner-city college construction; demolition of the grandstands; a business case for the entire precinct; and the old Princess Margaret Hospital for Children site, which we will be looking after when the Department of Health leaves.
“We are preparing a business case for the entire area.
“There will be costs but also revenue through land sales and the value of the land that we will create around the inner-city school and the existing Subiaco oval.”
But the project has already fallen behind schedule and the budget has been affected.
There was “reflow” of $250,000 in the costs for the Subiaco East redevelopment area from 2017-18 to 2018-19, according to the Treasury department’s 2017-18 annual report on state finances.
“[Some] $7.7 million was drawn in 2017-18, [by the MRA] reflecting the transfer of responsibility and budget for the development works at the Kitchener Park site to the Department of Education ($2.6million) and delays with commencing the Subiaco East project ($500,000),” the report said.
The MRA confirmed its business case for Subiaco Oval and its surrounds was originally forecast to be completed in the 2017-18 financial year.
“However, t he proj e c t i s now being jointly delivered by LandCorp and MRA, and the scope has been widened to include the whole project area, rather than just Subiaco Oval and its surrounds,” an MRA spokesperson said..
“This means the business case will now be delivered in the 201819 financial year.”
Iva Hayward-Jackson, who lives in public housing near Subiaco Oval, has been told it was still very early days for the process.
In September, Mr HaywardJackson wrote to Mr Tinley to highlight residents’ concerns about asbestos and the demolition of the grandstands (Oval demolition to be ‘brutal’, POST, September 29) and being forced from their homes.
In response Mr Tinley last week wrote that the Subi East renewal project was in its infancy and said “no decision has been made regarding the future of the public housing properties within the redevelopment area”.
“The Department of Communities will contact you as early as possible to discuss the matter if your tenancy will be impacted by this development,” he wrote.
“In regard to the demolition of Subiaco Oval, the MRA advise the works programming, including demolition methodology and safety management plans, will be decided once a contractor is appointed in early 2019.
“Surrounding residents will be informed about the demolition process and project milestones before works commence.”