The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue (WSLD) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Federal and NSW Governments, committing to the delivery of a north-south rail link that connects north and south-west Sydney via Badgerys Creek.
WSLD Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, who helped establish the Western Sydney Rail Alliance to build a business case, and advocate, for the north-south connection, said today’s decision, included as part of the Western Sydney City Deal, was a “massive win” for the region.
“The campaign which the Dialogue initiated, and helped drive in partnership with councils and landowners, has been more than two years in the making, and today’s outcome shows what can be achieved through collaboration and determination,” he said.
“This is more than just a rail line. Our studies have shown that the connection, linking our key growth and employment areas, has the potential to catalyse 40,000 jobs for the region. It will also provide improved access for cities that currently lack any public transport options.
“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. This is, after all, not Sydney’s second airport, but Western Sydney’s first airport.”
Mr Brown said that the north-south link, along with the West Metro, which connects the Sydney CBD to Parramatta, were the two most important transport projects for Western Sydney, when it came to employment generation, improved liveability and reduced congestion.
“With the north-south corridor secured, and the West Metro prioritised by the NSW Government, we need a firm timeline on delivery, and also some certainty on how they will both be funded,” Mr Brown added.
“Value-capture, where landowners who benefit from the project, help subsidise its cost, has been discussed for the past 18 months as the way forward when it comes to the funding of future infrastructure projects.
“But to this point, we’re still waiting for greater clarity on how value-capture will be applied, who it will be applied to, and who will administer it.”