Bunbury to Perth fast-rail link in scope of new public transport research

Jacinta CantatoreSouth Western Times
The State Government has awarded a contract for a study of public transport in the South West.
Camera IconThe State Government has awarded a contract for a study of public transport in the South West. Credit: Nic Ellis/WA News

A fast-rail train service from Bunbury to Perth will be among options considered by specialist contractors investigating public transport in the region.

The State Government awarded a $500,000 contract to KPMG, in partnership with MER Consult and Arup Group, on Wednesday to develop a strategic business case to improve public transport travel between Perth and Bunbury.

Population data, travel patterns and land-use planning will be among the information the company will consider to assess the economic, social and environmental benefits of the project, with the final report due in 2024.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said he was pleased the State Government was making progress in assessing fast-rail services between Perth and Bunbury.

“A fast-rail between Bunbury and Perth has been talked about for many years,” he said.

“I am confident the total rail package we have created, including the Australind and its renewal, along with putting aside funding for the fast rail to Bunbury, signals a very positive rail future for Bunbury.”

Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke welcomed the “next big step” for improving transport in the South West.

“There are so many wonderful towns between Perth and Bunbury — Harvey, Pinjarra and Cookernup, just to name a few — and a high-speed train will provide more access for locals and tourists alike,” she said.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the contract was an important next step in Bunbury’s fast-rail future.

“This is a long-term project looking well into the future,” she said.

“The strategic business case is a first step in understanding what a faster public transport link between Perth and Bunbury might look like.”

The Federal Government allocated $4 million in the 2020-21 Budget for investigations into a faster train to Bunbury, with the State matching that investment.

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