PROPOSALS for an 82 km outer-suburban rail link between Perth and Mandurah have been endorsed by the Western Australia state government. Costed at A$940m, the line would bypass the existing commuter line through Fremantle to serve the rapidly-growing southern outer suburbs of Kwinana, Rockingham and Mandurah.

State Premier Richard Court proposed in March that the project could be funded from the proceeds of the forthcoming privatisation of the state gas utility Alinta. According to a report by Deutsche Bank, sale of the retail trading and gas pipeline operations could raise between A$850m and A$1·2bn, although A$220m would be needed to retire Alinta’s existing debts.