City of Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams has hit out at Canning MP Andrew Hastie after a flyer distributed by his office claimed the local government had been “missing in action” on the Lakelands Train Station debate.
The flyer promoting the federal parliamentarian’s efforts on the major infrastructure project in the city’s northern suburb prompted councillors to debate their stance on the issue at an official meeting on Tuesday.
Coastal Ward councillor Fred Riebeling brought the motion before his fellow elected representatives as “a response” to the publication.
Mr Riebeling said his intentions were not to "get in a fight with anyone", rather to secure council's position on the matter publicly.
East Ward councillor Lynn Rodgers and Coastal Ward councillor Tahlia Jones both claimed the publication was misinformation.
Mr Williams said council had never opposed the idea.
He said it was not fair council was being used as a "punching-bag" and the city had supported the project for 12 years.
Mr Williams said he would write to Mr Hastie.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the motion, with several councillors congratulating Mr Riebeling for bringing the issue to their attention.
“It’s important that the position of council is understood on this issue,” Mr Riebeling said.
“Council isn’t the responsible level of government for public transport, but continues to lobby other tiers of government on behalf of its community.”
The motion stated council would reaffirm its stance that a future train station at Lakelands should be part of the planning for the Perth to Mandurah rail network.
The second part of the motion stated council would continue to advocate for more adequate provision of public transport across the region.
In response, Mr Hastie told the Mail he felt the City had not done enough to back the project.
“The council didn’t support it last year when it was an issue – in fact, I was able to get the $2 million for the business case without their support,” he said.
“I had several ministers visit last year and the [City of Mandurah] chief executive (Mark Newman) didn’t show up to the meetings.
“It’s a simple yes/no question - do you want a train station in Lakelands?
“If yes, then get on board and help me deliver it because at the moment the state government’s doing nothing and I’ve had no public support from the City of Mandurah.
“The narrative on the leaflet was absolutely true. Apart from (former) mayor (Marina) Vergone, no-one came out and supported the Lakelands Train Station. It’s as simple as that.”