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Transportation - NSW Labor pushes for western light rail project

31-Mar-2014 16:27 | Deleted user

OPPOSITION Leader John Robertson is pledging $20 ­million for a study into the ­proposed Parramatta light rail project to Castle Hill and Macquarie Park if elected, putting pressure on the O’Farrell ­government to do the same.

Parramatta Council has been calling for the funding and Mr Robertson is also promising the establishment of the Western Sydney Economic Development Authority (WSEDA) if elected to work on building jobs in the west and with the Commonwealth on the “delivery of a second ­airport in western Sydney”.

The pledge comes after Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian confirmed earlier this month a Parramatta light rail project was “in the mix” for the government ahead of the next election but did not commit to any funding. Her comments came after plans announced by Urban Growth NSW included a map showing light rail through Parramatta.

Under Parramatta Council plans, one line would operate from Westmead through ­Parramatta to Macquarie Park and another from Parramatta to Castle Hill, with hopes a Parramatta-Bankstown line could be added.

Mr Robertson’s office said Labor would commit $20 million for a “detailed feasibility study into the Western Sydney Light Rail Network undefined a project that would connect Sydney’s major development centres, universities and new urban communities”.

“Importantly, the network will address the lack of cross-regional transport links in Sydney, especially north-south connections,” a spokesman said.

The Opposition claims the project could generate $5 ­billion in construction activity and 2500 jobs. It is also promising to ­establish WSEDA which would oversee economic, jobs and infrastructure growth across western Sydney and ­co-ordinate government agencies to deliver infrastructure.

“Western Sydney is a region of immense potential undefined but one that faces challenges,” Mr Robertson said. “Labor has already called for a western Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek undefined a project that will be a catalyst to transform the region. A western Sydney light rail network is an exciting project that will ­provide much needed transport links across the region.’’

Source: The Daily Telegraphy by Andrew Clennell. Original article.

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