Perth Airport has proposed an airport link; branches off the Midland line in Bayswater and passes through the twin tunnels under the Swan River and the airport runways. There will be three stations to be built, one at the domestic terminal, international terminal and the last one in Forrestfield. This proposal includes having to clear off 13 hectares of bushes, and 1.6 of that area has threatened coastal plain scubland. But a report stated that it wouldn’t create a significant damage or effect to the environment and that whatever results may come out can be managed adequately. A two-week public comment will be conducted before this will be presented to the environment minister, Albert Jacob.
Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) assured the public and the government of Perth that there were no significant impacts on animals that would create the need to require valuation and conditioning. As any given road projects, the Public Transport Authority said that there was no way a project this big would not affect the environment, rather it could create ways to manage it thoroughly and properly. The tunnelling would cause to excavate nearly 750,000 cubic meters of soil. And instead of putting that soil or material to waste and throwing it off, there are marvellous ways to re-use it rather than just simply dumping it off somewhere. Construction works will most likely begin next year with the first train protected to operate sometime around the year 2020.
This assessment does not necessarily include the underground section that is to be built on airport land owned by the commonwealth. The government’s persistence on the project despite a big hit on its state revenue has provoked criticism even from within the Liberal party. The Public Transport Authority will need twelve (12) months for the approval of the Environment Minister, which gives them time to come up with something that satisfies the government’s offset policy. They would also have to provide monitoring of its vegetation and management plan.
The transport minister said that the project could be delayed probably for 15 years in favour of express buses to the northern suburbs. Finalization of this project’s approval will be known in a couple of months. This project then could make a huge difference to Perth’s transportation mode.