Rail Options Paper Highlights North-South Link

The Western Sydney Rail Alliance has welcomed the Federal and State Government’s release of the draft Western Sydney Rail Options Paper, which highlights the importance of a connection, linking the north-west and south-west growth areas.

According to today’s media reports, the north-south connection, from Rouse Hill to Campbelltown, is one of the options being considered as part of the governments’ Western Sydney rail review process that commenced in late 2015.

Convenor of the Western Sydney Rail Alliance, Christopher Brown AM, said he was glad that the draft paper would be made public, and hoped that this was the start of a process that would eventually lead to improved connectivity for the growth cities of Western Sydney.

“The Western Sydney Airport represents a new era for the region and it is vital that our booming cities in the south-west and north-west are connected to it, from the outset,” Mr Brown said.

“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.

“This is, after all, not Sydney’s second airport, but Western Sydney’s first airport and a north-south rail connection is the best way to provide the region’s future generation with the smart jobs of tomorrow.”

Mr Brown added that while a fast rail link, connecting Parramatta to Westmead was an exciting prospect, it shouldn’t come at the expense of a north-south connection, and it certainly didn’t need to be extended all the way to Badgerys Creek yet.

“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.”

The Western Sydney Rail Alliance has commissioned Deloitte and Arup to respond to today’s draft rail options paper, which it will make public before the end of the year.

Preliminary findings have shown that a north-south link will activate new employment hubs, particularly in the areas of health, education and innovation, and catalyse more than 60,000 direct jobs for Western Sydney.

Western Sydney Rail Alliance Members: Campbelltown City Council, Liverpool City Council, Penrith City Council, Camden Council, Celestino, Defence Housing Australia, Ingham Property, Lendlease, Medich Holdings, Perich Group, Sydney Business Park, The Committee for Sydney, Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club, University of Sydney, Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue.