Push for train station funding

Photo by Damjan Janevski. 209276_01

By Alesha Capone

Wyndham council is calling on the state government to use money collected under the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) tax to fund construction of a train station in Sayers Road, Tarneit West.

The council has also called for the government to use funds from the GAIC tax – which is collected from large property developments and land sales in Wyndham and other growth suburbs– to address a lack of parking spaces at Tarneit Railway Station.

The state government has previously committed to building the Tarneit West train station, which is expected to be completed by 2027.

But Wyndham mayor Josh Gilligan said the train station was “urgently needed”.

“In the 2018-2019 financial year, Wyndham Vale train station experienced a 20 per cent increase in passenger numbers and Tarneit train station saw a 17 per cent increase,” he said.

Cr Gilligan said the council believed the Tarneit West station would cost around $20 million to build.

“We know from the latest published figures by the state that there is upwards of $79 million sitting in the Victorian Treasury that can be used to fund Sayers Road train station,” Cr Gilligan said.

“In a recent Victorian Auditor General’s Office report, Managing Development Contributions, it stated that the GAIC funding lacked an overarching strategic approach to selecting areas of greater needs and benefits.

“One of the solutions to this was active participation from councils to identify projects for the funding, and we are making sure we put forward our most vital and beneficial infrastructure projects to receive our fair share of GAIC funding.

“Only the Victorian government has the power to unlock these funds and I’ll continue to fight to access this fund to get this vital city-shaping project started.”

Western Metropolitan MP Catherine Cumming has backed the council’s call for GAIC funding to be used to build the Sayers Road train station.

“This project is vital to this rapidly growing area,” Ms Cumming said.

“We need this for our youth, to create jobs, and to assist us in our recovery from COVID.

“I’m happy to support council’s bid to have the funds released for this much-needed infrastructure.”

The state government was contacted for comment.