While the Thornlie-Cockburn Link is located in existing rail corridors, a number of important environmental concerns will continue to be considered. Flora management
The existing rail corridor has been largely cleared of native vegetation and is maintained as an active freight rail corridor.
However, some clearing will be needed for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link, which will require approval under the Environmental Protection Act 1986. Fauna management
During construction, any areas marked for clearing will be inspected for animals to be relocated beforehand. Relocation by an appropriately qualified specialist will be timed, where practicable, to prevent coinciding with the main nesting/breeding season of fauna species – usually spring and summer. Noise, vibration and light
Investigation and planning is underway to ensure introducing the passenger lines means noise and vibration levels are no worse, and where possible are better, than existing levels experienced by the community.
Predicting noise and vibration is a complex science that takes a number of inputs to create a comprehensive model for the project. For this project, the inputs included:
- onsite noise monitoring results conducted in June 2017;
- noise monitoring of similar noise sources;
- data on existing soil conditions and structures (buildings, bridges, walls) in the project area; and
- early rail design.
Based on early designs, an initial operational noise and vibration assessment has recommended noise walls in certain locations and anti-vibration ballast matting under both the freight and passenger lines.
This will continue to be reviewed and updated as the designs progress once a contractor is appointed.
Lighting for the shared path and station areas will be directed away from residential properties as much as possible and will be assessed during the final design stages. Aboriginal heritage
Duplicating the rail bridge over the Canning River will occur within an Aboriginal heritage site.
While the project impact is expected to be minimal, recognising the importance of this site to the Whadjuk people, relevant approvals have been sought. Specialist Aboriginal people will also be engaged to monitor the initial ground work to further ensure there are no heritage sites or artefacts disturbed within these areas.