The City of Rockingham is railing against the State Government’s desire to take full planning control for Karnup train station and prime surrounding district for development. The WA Planning Commission says an improvement plan would enable it to streamline the planning process but the city has countered that it would lead to less consultation with locals and the local authority about how they want the train station surrounds developed. The city also fears it might miss out on more than $1 million in developer contributions if the improvement plan doesn’t allow it to reap developer contributions as it normally would. Karnup — which has been talked about since 2007 and was even considered a Stage 1 expansion plan when Labor took its Metronet plan to the 2017 election — was shuffled down the construction pecking order when a Federal funding promise made Lakelands the Mandurah line priority. With Lakelands now open, attention has returned to getting Karnup underway and the Government wants a developer to take on the build in exchange for access to 35 hectares of land off Paganoni Road which will become home to about 800 residences. Rockingham council last month made clear its concerns about the Government’s desire to implement an improvement plan for the district, which would slash the level of influence the council would have over future planning and development for the area. As well as spelling out the financial fears, a report by City of Rockingham officers also said there was no complex land deals that would require special planning permission and pointed out that council-run planning for a new district would take into account the effect of new subdivisions on important surrounding roads. At last month’s meeting, the council backed a motion from Cr Robert Schmidt that not only rejected the improvement plan but also said existing council-controlled planning frameworks such as a precinct structure plan would be sufficient. Cr Schmidt said it had been extremely disappointing to have Karnup station plan “torpedoed” by the Lakelands election promise and eventual funding deal. “Karnup station has been a long-discussed topic in the City of Rockingham, dating as far back as 2007,” he said at last month’s council meeting. “A significant amount of planning has been undertaken up until today, however, plans were torpedoed by the Morrison Liberal Government in 2017 with its lack of integrity and respect for our community. “It’s encouraging to see the city continue to advocate for the best outcome for the future of our community.” Despite Rockingham’s stance, it will still ultimately be a State Government decision on whether to enact an improvement plan for Karnup as it has done for several other Metronet train stations under development. Should the State go through with its improvement plan process, the council has asked that a new shopping centre and protection for the environment be included.