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THE NSW government has offered its strongest backing yet for a north-south rail link through Sydney’s fastest growing region.
Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres yesterday championed the corridor connecting Campbelltown to the northwest as the “city-shaping game-changer that we need”.
The endorsement comes as two of Sydney’s emerging powerhouse regions combined to push for a 10km stretch of “missing” railway track — arguing the failure to build a link between Liverpool and Badgerys Creek could put a handbrake on the region’s growth.
Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres. Picture: Getty ImagesMr Ayres said the north-south rail connection, which would link several Western Sydney precincts with the new airport at Badgerys Creek, has “the potential to drive its success”. His comments ahead of a major report soon to be released that will prioritise Western Sydney’s “rail needs” and nail down links to the airport.
Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Mr Ayres said: “The challenge now is to close the gap on the local jobs deficit that is forcing Western Sydney workers to travel long distances to work.
“North-south rail can be the city-shaping game-changer that we need. It’s about creating job density in Western Sydney, rather than transporting workers to jobs in the east.”
An artist impression of the proposed Western Sydney Airport metro rail line.Mr Ayres’ comments aside, the Berejiklian government has not yet publicly backed the north-south rail, pushing for federal money to fund the $20 billion Metro West extension before any other line is built.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: AAPThe Daily Telegraph revealed in June that independent analysis conducted by Deloitte found nearly 120,000 new jobs would be created if the government went ahead with a rail link from Campbelltown to Rouse Hill via the new airport.
Campbelltown and Liverpool city residents would warmly welcome a north-south rail line as it would commuters’ lives in Western Sydney, council chiefs said.
Campbelltown general manager Lindy Deitz.
But they are also pushing for the so-called Leppington Spur — a fast, quick and cheap solution to connecting the southwest to the airport, said Liverpool City chief executive Kiersten Fishburn and Campbelltown City Council general manager Lindy Deitz.
The route from Glenfield to the new airport would also unlock a bonanza of 40,000 jobs and 20,000 new homes, a report provided to The Daily Telegraph said. And it would also connect Western Sydney Airport and Kingsford Smith Airport in only 50 minutes.
Ms Dietz said prioritising the Leppington Spur would also connect the key strategic centre of Campbelltown to Western Sydney Airport from day one. And Ms Fishburn said: “We have a chance to build a true 30 minute-city, and a rail connection is key to alleviating the congestion that leads to lengthy commutes.”
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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