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Developers offered 35ha of land in Rockingham in exchange for building Karnup Train Station in WA-first trial

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Developers will be offered access to 35 hectares of zoned land in exchange for constructing the new Karnup Train Station in a State-first approach that Planning Minister Rita Saffioti hopes will become a blueprint for future public infrastructure projects.

The value of the surrounding land would be offset against the cost of delivering the train station, saving the McGowan Government millions of dollars in upfront construction costs.

In exchange for building the train station — to strict specifications provided by the Public Transport Authority — the proponent would also receive 35 hectares of adjacent land zoned for urban development.

Ms Saffioti said the size and location of the land package meant the Karnup Station Precinct was the ideal project to test the market’s appetite for the new approach.

“One of the things I have always thought is we don’t leverage enough outcomes from Government-owned land,” she said.

Camera IconMs Saffioti said the size and location of the land package meant the Karnup Station Precinct was the ideal project to test the market’s appetite for the new approach.  Credit: Andrew Rtichie/The West Australian

“We tend to sell it in a very initial form when it hasn’t been zoned and as a result lose a lot of the benefit for taxpayers.”

A draft structure is already in place for the Karnup Station Precinct, providing a degree of certainty for developers keen to build housing and businesses on the surrounding land.

In a twist on the McGowan Government’s market-led proposal policy, a “Problem and Opportunity Statement” will be released on Friday outlining the requirements of the train station.

They include a 150m island platform that is weather protected, a bus transfer facility and 425 parking bays.

The 35 hectares of adjacent land is “suitable for urban development and a district centre” and must include “an appropriate mix of housing types, community facilities, public open space and employment opportunities”.

Ms Saffioti described the future precinct as “a typical suburban housing development” but with the option of including higher-density residential dwellings near the station itself “to help defray costs”.

The proponent would be required to protect existing Tuart trees and black cockatoo habitats.

Concept Image of Karnup Station.
Camera IconConcept Image of Karnup Station. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Once constructed, the train station would be handed over to the PTA and it would operate in exactly the same way as every other station on the network.

Submissions from interested parties will be invited until July 17 with the first stage of the process an evaluation of respondents’ ability to deliver the required outcomes.

Those judged capable of carrying out the required work would then be invited to develop a concept proposal, with a preferred proponent then selected to progress to a full business case.

Acknowledging the soaring cost of construction post-pandemic, Ms Saffioti said she was “optimistic” the project would hold appeal – potentially for a consortium comprising a developer and construction firm.

If successful, further land deals were possible involving the construction of future train stations, social housing, cultural assets and sporting facilities.

“We’ve invested a lot in transport and for the future we really need to make sure we can do it as efficiently as possible and this is an option for us to see how it goes,” Ms Saffioti said.

“It may not excite people as much as I hope and then we will go back to our traditional forms.

“But this is really testing to see if there’s efficiencies or consortiums that can work together to develop a better outcome.”


Developers will be offered access to 35 hectares of zoned land in exchange for constructing the new Karnup Train Station in a State-first approach that Planning Minister Rita Saffioti hopes will become a blueprint for future public infrastructure projects.

The value of the surrounding land would be offset against the cost of delivering the train station, saving the McGowan Government millions of dollars in upfront construction costs.

In exchange for building the train station — to strict specifications provided by the Public Transport Authority — the proponent would also receive 35 hectares of adjacent land zoned for urban development.

Ms Saffioti said the size and location of the land package meant the Karnup Station Precinct was the ideal project to test the market’s appetite for the new approach.

“One of the things I have always thought is we don’t leverage enough outcomes from Government-owned land,” she said.

Minister Rita Saffioti at the launch of High Voltage festival on Sunday
Camera IconMs Saffioti said the size and location of the land package meant the Karnup Station Precinct was the ideal project to test the market’s appetite for the new approach.  Credit: Andrew Rtichie/The West Australian

“We tend to sell it in a very initial form when it hasn’t been zoned and as a result lose a lot of the benefit for taxpayers.”

A draft structure is already in place for the Karnup Station Precinct, providing a degree of certainty for developers keen to build housing and businesses on the surrounding land.

In a twist on the McGowan Government’s market-led proposal policy, a “Problem and Opportunity Statement” will be released on Friday outlining the requirements of the train station.

They include a 150m island platform that is weather protected, a bus transfer facility and 425 parking bays.

The 35 hectares of adjacent land is “suitable for urban development and a district centre” and must include “an appropriate mix of housing types, community facilities, public open space and employment opportunities”.

Ms Saffioti described the future precinct as “a typical suburban housing development” but with the option of including higher-density residential dwellings near the station itself “to help defray costs”.

The proponent would be required to protect existing Tuart trees and black cockatoo habitats.

Concept Image of Karnup Station.
Camera IconConcept Image of Karnup Station. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Once constructed, the train station would be handed over to the PTA and it would operate in exactly the same way as every other station on the network.

Submissions from interested parties will be invited until July 17 with the first stage of the process an evaluation of respondents’ ability to deliver the required outcomes.

Those judged capable of carrying out the required work would then be invited to develop a concept proposal, with a preferred proponent then selected to progress to a full business case.

Acknowledging the soaring cost of construction post-pandemic, Ms Saffioti said she was “optimistic” the project would hold appeal – potentially for a consortium comprising a developer and construction firm.

If successful, further land deals were possible involving the construction of future train stations, social housing, cultural assets and sporting facilities.

“We’ve invested a lot in transport and for the future we really need to make sure we can do it as efficiently as possible and this is an option for us to see how it goes,” Ms Saffioti said.

“It may not excite people as much as I hope and then we will go back to our traditional forms.

“But this is really testing to see if there’s efficiencies or consortiums that can work together to develop a better outcome.”

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