Liberals to sink railway between Mitchell Freeway and Thomas Street as part of bold plan to revitalise Perth CBD

Zak Kirkup and the Liberals have a vision to create an exciting new redevelopment zone – the New City West – by sinking the railway between the Mitchell Freeway and Thomas Street as part of a bold plan to revitalise the Perth CBD and triple the residential population of the City of Perth from 30,000 to 90,000 by 2050.

Mr Kirkup, the Liberal leader, said the innovative project was a major part of the Liberals’ Plan for an Exciting and Vibrant Perth, which also includes a $10 million Perth Events Fund to provide matching funding with the City of Perth to establish an inspiring events calendar to draw West Australians back into the CBD. 

It is also an integral part of the Liberals’ plan to create 200,000 new jobs to support West Australians with secure and full-time work. 

“We want to inject some life back into the Perth CBD,” Mr Kirkup said.

“We want to clean it up, make it safer and reinvigorate it. We want Perth’s city to become a place that captures the hearts of all West Australians – a place they are proud of – and a place that more interstate and international tourists flock to when borders eventually safely reopen.

“We will work closely with the City of Perth and its new Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas, who also has a bold vision for the CBD, to achieve these goals.”

Mr Kirkup said the Liberals would commit $5 million in the first term to undertake detailed master planning for the New City West, which will include sinking the railway.

“This is the next transformational redevelopment project for Perth. It is intended that the project will be completed in 2029 in time for Western Australia’s bicentenary,” Mr Kirkup said.

“It will free up land for a new major residential and commercial property development precinct, allowing a greater diversity of housing choices closer to the city.

“Having this new development will allow thousands of people to live in the inner-city, taking pressure off infill targets in our suburbs.”

Mr Kirkup said history showed the Liberals could successfully complete the project through a Public Private Partnership (PPP).  

“These PPP arrangements are a tried and true measure of working with the private sector to deliver public benefit,” Mr Kirkup said.

“The sinking of the railway between Northbridge and the CBD and the construction of Perth  Stadium are examples of Liberal Governments working successfully with the private sector to deliver major infrastructure for the benefit of Perth.

“This project is part of our clear plan for the Perth CBD and immediate surrounds to make the city safe, exciting and vibrant. A WA Liberal Government will work closely with the community, local businesses, industry and the City of Perth to deliver a residential masterplan for the city with the aim of trebling the residential population from 30,000 to 90,000 people by 2050.

“We will also reduce red tape to open the doors for more exciting and unique commercial opportunities for Perth.

“This significant project will not only help transform and reinvigorate the Perth CBD, it will also create job opportunities for West Australians. The Liberals have a plan to create 200,000 new jobs, which is the number of jobs the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Treasury data says we need for WA businesses and our economy to fully recover.”

Shadow Minister for Planning Tjorn Sibma said the Liberals would also modernise retail tenancies to re-open the city’s vacant spaces.

“The Perth CBD – its Hay and Murray Street malls in particular – has been severely impacted by rising retail vacancy rates in recent years,” Mr Sibma said.  

“The outdated Commercial Tenancy (Retail Shops) Agreement Act locks landlords and retail tenants into restrictive lease arrangements which often do not work out for either party.  

“The Liberals’ innovative $100 million International Market Diversification Plan, announced on Sunday, offers funds for industries to help capture new markets, which could enable them to attract international tourists to Perth, including in the business and events sectors, once it is COVID-safe to do so.” 

Liberal candidate for Perth Kylee Veskovich was delighted with the comprehensive plan.

“The CBD has been crying out for years for innovative projects like this to breathe some life back into the city,” she said.

Mr Kirkup was confident the Liberals’ policies would attract more people to live in the city. 

“We will clean it up and make it safer so that people move there in droves,” he said.

“We will make it safer with our plan to have 250 dedicated police officers for the CBD and Northbridge to reduce out-of-control violence and make the city safe again for families, tourists and small businesses. This will be a permanent police presence – not a temporary, short-term boost.

The Liberals have already announced a plan to help the homeless living on the city’s streets.

“We will deliver 500 emergency accommodation beds for the homeless to provide safe and secure accommodation to those sleeping rough on the streets. We will also match the government’s Perth city plan which includes redeveloping the WACA Ground and building a new university.”