Friday, 22 September 2023 10:58

Train station investment fail is stifling economy, ruining communities Featured

Commuter railway entrance to platform in Western Sydney Commuter railway entrance to platform in Western Sydney WSROC

The peak body representing councils in Greater Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), has warned that unless there is a massive increase in investment in new railway stations in Western Sydney, more than 560,000 extra people in the rapidly growing region won’t have access to trains within just 13 years, stifling economic development, reducing quality of life and devastating the environment.

The grim warning is contained in WSROC's submission to the NSW Government’s inquiry into current and future public transport needs in Western Sydney.

“The people of Greater Western Sydney already suffer from decades of under-investment in the region’s transport needs, which not on adversely impacts the liveability of Western Sydney communities but also stifles economic development in the region and harms the environment,” said WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert.

“Essentially, unless there is a serious commitment by the government to the region's public transport infrastructure needs — including expanding rail links between existing population centres and building more train stations — rapid population growth will seriously impact quality of life, impede productivity, and retard the region's economic development and its contribution to the state economy.

“Investment in Western Sydney’s public transport network is essential for addressing cost-of-living pressures associated with fuel and motorway tolls and to improve access to services for vulnerable groups.

“Western Sydney’s over-reliance on private cars in the absence of adequate transport even threatens the New South Wales Government’s ability to reach its own Net Zero carbon emissions target.

“The current population of Greater Western Sydney is 2,654,000 and is expected to grow by another 800,000 by 2036.

“However, lack of available local employment opportunities means that some 235,000 Western Sydney workers need to commute daily to jobs outside the region — predominantly in the eastern half of the Sydney metropolitan area.

“By 2036 an additional 250,000 resident workers will be travelling outside the region for work.

“The last two decades of population growth in Western Sydney have not significantly advanced any Western Sydney area as a significant supplier of jobs for it growing workforce.

“WSROC is urging the government to work with Greater Western Sydney councils to develop a ‘Greater Western Sydney Transport Plan’ to promote more investment and the orderly development of new higher density communities around multiple transport nodes, while generating local business and employment opportunities.

“Today, just as the Sydney Harbour Bridge has shaped Northern Sydney for over 90 years, a carefully planned rail network linking Liverpool, Campbelltown, Blacktown, Cumberland and other major centres will shape Greater Western Sydney for decades to come. 

“No other single infrastructure project, including the Western Sydney International Airport will contribute more to the productivity, liveability, and sustainability of the region.

“We are proposing a 65-kilometre route accommodating 34 railway stations at two-kilometre spacings.

“Around these rail stations will be commercial and town centres, schools and health facilities, and villages in close proximity.”

For full copy of the WSROC submission to the NSW Government’s inquiry into current and future public transport needs in Western Sydney, follow the link. 

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