The Greens (WA) regional development spokesperson Diane Evers has been stunned by public response to a South West community petition calling for the reopening of Tier 3 rail lines from the Greenbushes lithium mine.
The Petition to Parliament to Reopen the Disused Railway Line between Bunbury and Greenbushes received 3,334 signatures and was tabled in the Legislative Council on Thursday, 8 August.
Until recently, Ms Evers was hopeful the petition calling on the State Government to fulfil a pre-2017 election promise would gather one thousand or more signatures.
However, for a physical petition spanning a large area, the final result of over three thousand represents a significant show of public support.
Western Australian Parliament’s requirements for hand-written, physical copies of petitions limit its reach compared to non-compliant online counterparts.
Principal petitioner Therese Dignam made the trip to Parliament on Thursday via rail to watch Ms Evers read in the petition.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTED TO DIANE EVERS MLC:
“’I love trains’ was how I began my reading – and clearly, so do many others in the South West community.
“I hope this petition will be a signal to the McGowan Government that the community wants it to address the inefficiencies of WA’s freight rail network.
“Without rail freight, truck movements on South West roads are set to increase sharply, with Minister Saffioti admitting these movements are set to quadruple beyond the year 2022.
“The South West Region needs increased safety of road users and a reduction in noise pollution, air pollution and carbon emissions.
“As well as maintenance and associated costs, the heavy traffic anticipated to pass through Balingup, Mullalyup, Kirup, Donnybrook and Boyanup towns mean a better solution must be considered.
“A step can be taken towards this outcome by putting freight on back on existing, but disused, infrastructure.
“This would result in the potential added benefit of further rail freight movements of products in other industries.
“These movements will contribute to wear and tear of roads as well as greater safety risks, with increased mining of course creating new jobs and bringing additional families and associated businesses to the region, adding to the growing pressure on roads.
GET IN TOUCH:
Hon. Diane Evers
MLC for South West
(08) 9486 8070