Rail Corridor Linked to Jobs Growth

A rail connection linking Western Sydney to Badgerys Creek Airport will deliver more than 40,000 jobs for the region, preliminary figures commissioned by the Western Sydney Rail Alliance, show.

The data was presented by Convenor of the Alliance, Christopher Brown AM, at the CAPA Australian Pacific Aviation Summit in Brisbane today, where he highlighted the importance of having a rail line in place, linking the north-west and south-west growth areas, by the time Sydney’s new airport was operational by 2025.

“Most transport, infrastructure and aviation experts will tell you that Western Sydney Airport needs to have the transport connections that link it back to Western Sydney,” Mr Brown told the audience.

“After all, it’s not Sydney’s second airport, it’s Western Sydney’s first airport. It is the only way to allow our kids access to global jobs, our businesses to national and international markets and our local tourism attractions to inbound travellers.”

“The best way to link Western Sydney with Western Sydney Airport is via a north-south rail corridor, connecting Rouse Hill to Campbelltown. This link will not only catalyse airport-induced development and jobs for the fastest growing areas in the state but provide improved access for cities that currently lack any public transport options.”

“We will eventually need a high speed rail link from Badgerys to the Sydney CBD when the new airport overtakes Mascot as our primary international gateway decades into the future. The Alliance has always supported an integrated rail network, not just a line, including east west Metro Rail extensions, freight lines and even high speed rail.

“However, an express service from the CBD to Badgerys Creek should not be the first priority and could be dismissed as a ‘Western Sydney bypass’ as it would deny the region the benefits of the new airport in our midst.

“We would hate to see the jobs growth predicted in the Deloitte/Arup report at risk by inappropriate infrastructure planning that prioritises a CBD rail link over a Western Sydney connector. We have a 200,000 jobs deficit in the region and all policy priorities must be toward this employment challenge.

“The growth of Badgerys Creek Airport in the short to medium term is predicated on outbound leisure and business travellers from Western Sydney and inbound Chinese tourists – and neither require immediate high speed rail access to Circular Quay. In fact, faster rail access from Western Sydney to Mascot could actually hinder the growth of the new airport as travellers might favour the existing facility.

“Before we go down the path of a Heathrow-style fast rail – let’s prioritise a networked solution that links our north-south growth areas via the east-west lines and help facilitate the economic development of Western Sydney.”

The Western Sydney Rail Alliance has commissioned consultants Deloitte and Arup to prepare a report that analyses the opportunities that a “north-south” rail link, through the Western Sydney Airport, will catalyse.

The report is in response to the joint NSW/Federal Government Western Sydney Rail Options paper which is expected to be released this year.

Deloitte Partner, Theo Psychogios, said that their numbers have shown that prioritising a north-south rail link in Western Sydney will activate new employment hubs in the region, particularly in the areas of health, education and innovation.

“Building mass transit connectivity between the North and South growth regions of outer Western Sydney will be a larger catalyst for jobs and investment in the region than any single precinct project other than Western Sydney Airport,” Mr Psychogios
said.

“Delaying the delivery of this connection is a significant inhibitor to local job growth and broader regional economic prosperity. Preliminary analysis suggests the construction of the rail line could create between 43,800 – 65,800 direct jobs and up to 98,600 indirect jobs.”