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DELAYS are already threatening the North West Metro, and internal documents show that a senior State Government official believes the planned 2010 construction start date will be a "push to achieve".
The documents, tabled in Parliament, also reveal that to meet the schedule land acquisition for the metro line needs to begin next year at the latest, even though route planning will not be completed until 2010.
It came as a second top planning body raised concerns about the Government's decision to abandon its heavy rail expansion plan and replace it with the independent underground metro to the north-west.
The North West Metro is to be fully operational by 2017, linking the city with Rouse Hill. In the first stage of the project the line will connect Epping with the Hills Centre by 2015. Construction would start in 2010.
But a memo by Dr David Thorp, a senior Treasury official, argues that a 2010 construction start "will be a push to achieve".
The papers also give further details of the northern beaches metro, lower north shore metro - a second harbour crossing to Chatswood - and an F6 corridor metro, which may end up being a rapid bus service.
The North West Metro had originally been dubbed the North Anzac Metro. It was to be linked to an eastern suburbs metro, which was initially an extension of a South Anzac metro, according to confidential cabinet papers drawn up in November.
The Government has outlined plans for a North West Metro to cost $12 billion, which was first supposed to extend to Malabar in the south-east, according to the tabled documents. The Government recently signalled the second metro line would run from the city to Parramatta, and would cost up to $10 billion.
The documents disclose the time saved on the Malabar line would be greater than for any of the other metros, more than halving the travel time from Maroubra Junction to the city, from 24 minutes to 10 minutes.
The documents indicate that the south-west rail line that links Glenfield and Leppington, and whose construction is due to begin this year, will not be extended further until 2020, or beyond.
For the full story and what the detractors would do, go to:
The Sydney Morning Herald
May 23, 2008
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