Old rail overhaul on track

Headshot of Elise Van Aken
Elise Van AkenGeraldton Guardian
The City of Greater Geraldton's administation centre and Council chambers on Cathedral Avenue.
Camera IconThe City of Greater Geraldton's administation centre and Council chambers on Cathedral Avenue. Credit: Geoff Vivian/Geraldton Guardian

Four kilometres of old railway line in Geraldton will be rezoned into public open space with cycling paths and expanded light industrial areas.

The City of Greater Geraldton, at its March ordinary council meeting last Tuesday, moved to seek the approval of the Minister for Planning to rezone the former rail corridor on North West Coastal Highway from Webberton Road to Eastward Road, Utakarra in recognition of the development potential and community benefit of the underused land.

CGG development and community services director Phil Melling reported to the council the tracks were surplus to the Public Transport Authority’s operational requirements, with the majority of the alignment being vacant apart from a number of leasehold areas to the north-east of the Flores and Eastward Road intersection.

Public access to the land is currently limited, with much of the site being fenced off for safety and security purposes.

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Mr Melling said the City had discussed with the PTA the future use and disposal of the rail reservation for an extended period of time.

If developed, the proposed public open space reservation, south of Place Road, will act as a buffer between the residential area of Wonthella and the light industrial zone to the east, which will be given space to expand as the land is unused and inaccessible by others except adjacent landowners.

The proposed network is set to connect people to activity centres and key attractions, through enabling new cycling paths for transport, recreation and tourism purposes.

As a result of advertising the proposal, a total of nine submissions were received, with one from the Department of Communities raising concerns with the northern portion of the corridor being rezoned to light industry, instead requesting the area be rezoned to public open space.

The item was moved by Cr Jerry Clune and was carried 12 to one, with Cr Steve Douglas voting against despite not speaking against the motion.

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