Thursday, 18 March 2021 11:11

Infrastructure Australia report stops short on liveability for the West

WSROC Eastbound morning traffic peak WSROC Eastbound morning traffic peak

Media Release, 8 March 2021, The decision by Infrastructure Australia not to include the Western Sydney Airport metro line in its list of national priority projects shows impoverished vision for NSW’s ‘engine room’[1], says Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC).

Infrastructure Australia’s recent report, which calculates the benefits of the airport rail line as being possibly “overestimated”, fails to grasp the full picture of Western Sydney’s future liveability, says WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert.

“It is clear that Infrastructure Australia has missed the point of the Western Sydney Airport metro line, as an essential piece of the city-shaping north-south rail link. When complete, it will connect Schofields in the north with Campbelltown and Liverpool in the south, serving both established and new communities in the growth corridors in between.

“By 2036, more than half of Sydney’s population will live west of Parramatta.[2] The north-south link will transform intra-regional connection and open access to opportunities - such as affordable housing and jobs associated with the aerotropolis development. WSROC has been advocating for this crucial rail link since the 1990’s, as a key piece in connecting the planning vision for the growing region’s current and future liveability,” he said.

“This is a solid investment in Sydney’s future. While it may seem expensive now, the costs will be exponentially greater every year that Western Sydney’s growth continues.
“One of the biggest challenges for Sydney is the struggle to retrofit transport corridors, after the demand for services has already exceeded existing infrastructure. The NSW Government should be commended for planning ahead to serve the new airport and the region’s huge population growth. 

“Western Sydney’s story is already one of road dependence. An exodus of more than 300,000 residents endure Greater Sydney’s longest commute, mostly by car. By 2036, this number will have increased to over 400,000. With a million more people projected to live in the region, the prioritisation and vision is falling far short of these figures,” said Clr Calvert.

“The Infrastructure Australia economists need to visit Western Sydney and recalculate the liveability outcomes for those transport-disadvantaged communities surrounding St Marys, who number amongst those that will eventually be served by the north-south rail link. These communities need urban renewal and access to reliable public transport now, not in 15 years’ time”.

Clr Calvert continued, “Contrary to Infrastructure Australia’s assessment, it is WSROC’s view that the economic, social and environmental benefits of this project more than justify its costs. We concede the project is not perfect – there should be far more stops connecting existing communities to the rail network.

“However, establishing this first stage of the north-south link is critical for building a connected transport network that will meet the needs of Western Sydney travellers, not continuously funnel them toward the CBD.

“The north south link is a critical part of the NSW Government’s vision for a connected metro system, capable of reducing car dependency. Infrastructure Australia has a few stations missing in its line of reasoning on the needs of future Sydney: liveable cities are far less so, when there is no transport infrastructure in place to serve communities,” said Clr Calvert.


Media contact: Kate O’Connell or Kelly Gee, 02 9671 4333, 0425 871 868 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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[1] Deloitte – Shaping Future Cities, Designing Western Sydney 2015

[2] Western Sydney Parklands – Planning for the Future 2018

Last modified on Thursday, 18 March 2021 11:16

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