Infrastructure Australia (IA) has given the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook line the green light, adding the project to the national Infrastructure Priority List.
The national independent advisory agency found the Morley-Ellenbrook Line was of strategic importance, will improve and integrate transport options within the corridor, reducing car dependency and easing traffic congestion.
The positive assessment comes after a comprehensive options development identified more than 100 options, before a shortlist of four options were assessed using a cost-benefit analysis.
IA found the project held a benefit-cost ratio of 1.20, providing $430 million in wider economic benefits across the community.
Early work on the project began late last year, with the start of upgrades to new Bayswater Station.
Construction on the Tonkin Gap project, which will provide enabling works for the rail line, will begin in coming months.
Two companies have recently been shortlisted to deliver the main package of works on the Morley-Ellenbrook Line. The major works contract is expected to be awarded later this year.
Spurring from the Midland Line at Bayswater Station, the 21 kilometre Morley-Ellenbrook Line will run up the middle of Tonkin Highway, through land north of Marshall Road, along Drumpellier Drive and finish in the Ellenbrook town centre.
New stations will be built at Morley, Noranda, Malaga, Whiteman Park and Ellenbrook, with the option to build a future station at Bennett Springs East.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Infrastructure Australia, the Federal Government’s own independent body, has given the Morley-Ellenbrook Line the tick of approval.
“The Ellenbrook line is the signature METRONET project, when complete it will be a game‑changer for the north eastern suburbs.
“This year alone we have six METRONET projects underway, plus the construction of our Bellevue METRONET railcar facility, creating thousands of local jobs and supporting local businesses.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“For years, we have been told by the WA Liberal Party that the Morley-Ellenbrook Line doesn’t stack up. Today they have been proven wrong by the Federal Government’s own independent assessment body.
“IA has found the Morley-Ellenbrook Line has strategic value, will improve connectivity and transport links, while improving liveability by encouraging development around stations and unlocking economic potential of the area.
“When we came to Government in March 2017, the only work that had been done by the previous Liberal Government was focussed on finding reasons not to build the Morley‑Ellenbrook Line.
“In three years we have planned and designed an entire train line, with construction underway.
“We are working to fast track the Tonkin Gap upgrade, which will include rail enabling works down Tonkin Highway, with construction on this project expected to start in coming months.
“METRONET projects will be a key part of our post-COVID economic recovery, providing opportunities for local businesses and creating thousands of local jobs.”