Commonwealth must show its hand on Metro West

Leading up to the release of the Federal Budget, Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Chairman Christopher Brown AM has called on the Federal Government to put its money where its mouth is and contribute funding to the Sydney Metro West project.

Mr Brown said that with the project having received bipartisan support during the recent NSW election campaign, along with a financial commitment from Federal Labor, the Government must now come to the party and invest in the most transformative infrastructure project in Greater Sydney.

“The ‘steel spine’ is a $20 billion project that is critical to the long-term growth of Parramatta and to unlocking the potential of Sydney Olympic Park. It has been nominated as one of Infrastructure Australia’s highest priorities for NSW, and importantly will double rail capacity on the Western Line between Parramatta and the City.”

“The Western Line has underpinned Western Sydney’s growth and prosperity for the last 150 years,” Brown said. “But it is reaching its limits, and Metro will enable the region to thrive for many more generations. Many are calling it a ‘game-changer’ and for the Australian Government, it should be a ‘no-brainer.’’

The NSW Government has earmarked $6.4 billion for the project and following its election victory last week is pushing to get it underway as soon as possible. Mr Brown said the State couldn’t fund the project alone, and its significance to the national economy demanded a Federal commitment.  

“The Government is talking a big game on congestion busting and managing population growth and in front of it is an opportunity to make a down-payment on a solution to Sydney’s growing pains. The Opposition has recognised this opportunity, but the Morrison Government is yet to commit.”

“The Opposition’s commitment of $3 billion, should it win the upcoming election, is welcome but the Dialogue believes that a project of this scale and importance to the economy needs a Federal commitment of at least $5 billion, or around 25 per cent of the total cost,” Mr Brown said.

“Victoria was promised $2 billion for a Geelong fast rail last week, without any significant planning or request from the State Government. Meanwhile the NSW Government is ready to roll with West Metro and has no Federal commitment to rely on. Western Sydney deserves better from the Morrison Government.”

Greater Western Sydney alone is forecast to grow from 2+ million people to 3+ million by 2036. In the next 25 years the region will generate 15 per cent of Australia’s population growth and 60 per cent of Sydney’s.

“The Federal budget must include this significant urban renewal project along Sydney’s most dynamic corridor and show the people of Western Sydney they have support to reach their potential with a stronger connection between Sydney’s two CBDs,” Mr Brown said.

“The Federal Government has rightly invested in the transport links to support the growth of the Aerotropolis and also needs to recognise the importance of Western Sydney’s other major growth precinct, the Greater Parramatta and Olympic Peninsula (GPOP).”

For media information

Sarah Campbell — Communications Manager

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue sarah@westernsydney.org.au