Western Sydney councils' transport plan endorsed

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 07 May, 2024

Western Sydney councils' transport plan endorsed

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the decision by the NSW parliament's upper house to take on board its recommendations for improving public transport connectivity in the rapidly growing region.

The Legislative Council’s newly published report into its inquiry into current and future public transport needs in Western Sydney includes recommendations for improvements that line up with the WSROC’s proposals. These include building two further stations west of Sydney Olympic Park on the Metro West line to help boost housing and economic revitalisation, and assessing the feasibility of additional stations on the Metro Western Sydney Airport line.

The report also recommends creating business cases for extending the Metro Western Sydney Airport line from Leppington to Western Sydney Airport via Oran Park to include 30 new stations, as well as completing a north-south rail link and connection to Leppington by 2032.

Other recommendations include increasing the frequency of bus services and prioritising the delivery of a rapid bus network across the region.

WSROC President Councillor Barry Calvert said in its submission to the inquiry, the organisation stressed that the current distribution of public transport services unfairly disadvantages the western suburbs despite the region’s strong population growth.

"In response to our submission, the parliamentary committee acknowledged that the residents of Western Sydney 'deserve' an equitable approach to the provision of transport infrastructure and services and that anything less discriminates against them," he said. "The committee’s report noted that 'the people of Western Sydney deserve a public transport network which, adjusted for density, is the same as that in the east' and that it is not that in its current form."

Calvert said the report acknowledges anything less than the same density of heavy and metro railway lines and stations as well as bus routes and stops would be discriminating against the residents of Western Sydney.

"These residents are, demographically speaking, more likely to be reliant on public transport than residents of the wealthier Eastern Suburbs," he said. "For example, in February this year the NSW Government announced that Sydney Metro would investigate two potential additional stations to the west of Olympic Park, including one at Rosehill Gardens which could support a significant increase in housing.

"WSROC was keen to point out, however, that the benefits of the Metro for Western Sydney residents and businesses would be severely limited if it did not include enough stations. The number of stations proposed by the government was based on short-term budgetary considerations rather than a proper assessment of the number that are needed," he added.

Calvert said the current transport plans developed for Western Sydney lack both vision and sufficient detail, and need to be rethought to take into account land use, projected population growth, aspirations for investment and job creation outcomes.

"Only when such a plan is in place would it allow for the identification of transport priorities and facilitate greater levels of investment," he said. "Once this end-state plan is developed, it would allow the identification of regional transport infrastructure priorities and their optimum times for delivery and establish the appropriate funding mechanisms to make it happen."


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