Cr Palmer was quoted in the e-news InDaily last week as saying the cost of the Wayville Station had doubled in price. I was also quoted as saying Rod Hook had briefed council about the Station late last year.
Rod hook got the opportunity from InDaily to set the matter straight and he did with his comments on In Daily as follows:
THE state’s most senior transport official says the cost of the new Wayville Railway Station will be cheaper than an earlier option.
Indaily reported last week comments by an Unley councillor Don Palmer that suggested the cost of building the new Wayville station would be double that of a previous option to rebuild Keswick railway station.
However, Rod Hook, the Chief Executive of the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, says the new station, to be built adjacent to the showgrounds, would be cheaper than the Keswick option.
Hook also denies Palmer’s comments that Hook himself approached the council in last October to “float” the idea of the Wayville station and that “compared to the cost of upgrading Keswick it would be an extra $8 million”.
Hook says he didn’t meet with the council and that Palmer’s figures are wrong.
“I never attended a council meeting last year,” he said. “I attended a meeting with the council in February this year and advised them, as stated above, that Wayville is a better and more cost effective solution than Keswick.”
Hook said “the overall Wayville Railway Station Project budget has always been around $16.5 million. Of this total budget, the Station Platforms and the Pedestrian Footbridge/Overpass Structure represented about half of the overall project costs (about $8 million)”.
“It was these components that required the approval of the Minister for Planning pursuant to the Development Act 1993,” he said.
“Other components of the overall project, including the track construction for the Belair and Seaford lines, drainage, signalling and electrification works, along with the new shared use pedestrian/cycle path under Greenhill Road and across Anzac Highway, did not require Development Act approval.
“Such information was detailed in the Development Application Report that was lodged with the Development Assessment Commission in support of the Wayville Railway Station development application.
“An original proposal for an upgrade of Keswick Station was costed at around $18.7 million and was included as part of the $110 Goodwood Junction Upgrade project.”
Hook said the project was approved by the Development Assessment Commission on February 28, 2013, contrary to Indaily’s report that it had not yet been approved.
Indaily’s report was based on advice from Unley Council that it was still waiting on notification of the project’s approval and an absence of the Wayville project from the DAC’s minutes for any of its meetings this year.
Hooks’ department provided a statement to Indaily after we had published the article. The statement said the Wayville project had been approved by the DAC and provided details of its costings. It did not provide any costings for the Keswick option.
What I can say here is I did have a conversation with In Daily and I referred him onto another Unley Councillor. In conversation all I indicated was
1 Figures of $ 8m and $ 16m were mentioned at a briefing with Rod Hook the week prior.
2 That DPTI had briefed Council back late last year.
I have extreme doubts now about anything I read in InDaily now because they created a storey out of nothing. And i must be more discerning about conversations in future with In Daily.
For the record I support the Station, unlike the other Councillor that I referred In Daily to. In fact I seconded the motion supporting our response to the DAC. And that is on the public record.