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Twenty-eight properties along the multibillion-dollar metro rail line to Sydney's new international airport will be compulsorily acquired and another 33 are earmarked for partial purchase.
As land deals linked to the Western Sydney Airport precinct at Badgerys Creek come under scrutiny, residents in the area have been warned of tunnelling noise and vibrations before tracks are laid for the $8 billion rail project.
The new Luddenham station will be the centre of a future education, innovation and commercial precinct.
Major construction of the 23-kilometre Western Sydney Airport metro line is scheduled to start next year, allowing for the rail link to be operational ahead of the airport's opening in 2026.
The line will run between three stops located at the airport and Aerotropolis and St Marys station via two new stations at Luddenham and Orchard Hills.
An environmental impact statement, published on Wednesday, said 16 rural residential properties would be fully acquired, with five likely to be partially acquired. The other sites acquired and earmarked for purchase included industrial and "mixed use" properties.
Residents in St Marys, Claremont Meadows and semi-rural Orchard Hills, and in the rural areas of Luddenham and Bringelly, should expect "temporarily high" noises from concrete saws, hydraulic hammers and bulldozers.
"The use of noise intensive equipment would be planned for standard working hours where possible and respite periods provided," the documents said.
Boring machines and roadheaders will be used to excavate twin tunnels on sections of the route beneath the airport and between St Marys and Orchard Hills. The tunnels will run as shallow as 15 metres below ground.
The project will also involve clearing an area of threatened Cumberland Plain Woodland.
But the NSW government said these factors should be balanced with the "significant transport and development benefits" the project will bring to greater western Sydney.
The rail line will run between three stops located at the international airport and Aerotropolis and St Marys station via two new stations at Luddenham and Orchard Hills. CREDIT:NSW GOVERNMENT
It said the metro will have the initial capacity to move 7740 commuters an hour in each direction with up to 12 trains running per hour during peak times. That could eventually surge to 20 trains per hour.
"Trains will arrive up to every five minutes in the peak period in each direction as the initial operating capacity so customers won’t need a timetable – they’ll just turn up and go," Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.
Federal Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge said construction of the metro line would "inject billions into the NSW economy and support 14,000 jobs".
Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive Steve Mann said the rail plan "fails to take the opportunity to connect the 'west with the west'". He is urging the government to include more stations.
"The lack of adequate stations is going to create more congestion issues, exacerbate affordability issues and undermine the 30-minute city model," he said.
The release of the environmental statement – on public exhibition until December 2 – follows weeks of intense scrutiny on planning decisions for the Aerotropolis hub surrounding the airport.
Federal police are probing the government's $32.8 million purchase of 12 hectares of land, known as Leppington Triangle, which was valued at $3 million less than a year after it was bought from the billionaire Perich family.
And the Independent Commission Against Corruption is examining disgraced former state MP Daryl Maguire's involvement in deals near the airport that would favour racing heir and landowner Louise Raedler Waterhouse.
The airport terminal will include a public plaza, shops, restaurants and cafes, and will be connected to the local transport network by the $1.8 billion M12 motorway – construction of which is due to start in 2022.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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