A Foley Labor government will accelerate the construction of a new metro rail line between Western Sydney and the CBD, rather than proceed with the conversion of the Sydenham to Bankstown rail line to a metro line.

Less than a year to the next state election Labor Leader Luke Foley today gave a commitment that under a government he leads the Metro West will be the number one transport project for Labor.

Today’s announcement clearly lays out Labor’s top transport priority and builds on an earlier commitment to not proceed with the construction of a hugely expensive mega road tunnel to the Northern Beaches.

Ditching the wasteful conversion of the existing 13-kilometre section of rail track to metro lines between Sydenham and Bankstown would free up billions of dollars and allow a Labor government to divert funding to deliver the Metro West years earlier than the Liberals.

Despite announcing a metro for Western Sydney in late 2016 the Liberal State Government has not committed a cent to its construction nor made any progress on a delivery date. Contrast this with the fact that in the last state budget it allocated $103 million to the Northern Beaches Tunnel.

Labor’s vision is shared by the Government’s own infrastructure experts who have concluded that a Northern Beaches tunnel is not a priority and its construction would delay the delivery of other more urgent projects:

Traditionally, investment has focused on Sydney’s east. As major infrastructure networks are completed in the Eastern Harbour City, such as WestConnex and Sydney Metro, investment needs to shift westwards…

Infrastructure NSW has also concluded that Western Sydney is the priority for state infrastructure expenditure:

Infrastructure NSW considers that the Sydney Metro West project should be the priority for rail network extensions…

The Sydenham to Bankstown corridor is already well served by the existing T3 line and is currently under capacity. Conversion to a metro line would create major disruption. Most importantly, unlike the Metro West, the conversion of the final section of the Metro from Sydenham to Bankstown will not expand Sydney’s train network.

Labor has already committed to ditching the Berejiklian Government’s proposal to rezone the Sydenham to Bankstown corridor and shoehorn an extra 100,000 people into high-rise towers without any accompanying social infrastructure.

Labor’s clear commitment is for a new rail line linking Westmead and Parramatta to Sydney’s CBD well before the Liberals ever deliver it.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Government is all about priorities and Labor’s priority is to deliver better transport links between Western Sydney - soon to be home to 3 million people - and Sydney’s CBD.’

“I am being honest about Labor’s priorities. We will deliver Metro West years earlier than the Liberals because we won’t build a Northern Beaches mega tunnel nor will we proceed with pointless conversion of the Bankstown line..”

“This Government is promising a raft of future infrastructure projects that it cannot deliver. Labor is making it very clear to the public and industry where our priorities lie and I make no apologies for ditching unnecessary and wasteful projects.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Michael Daley

“This Government is now in its eighth year in office and it has yet to cut the ribbon on any of its major transport infrastructure projects. To date their record on infrastructure has been characterised by delays and blowouts.

“Labor will re-allocate the money freed up by the cancellation of the Sydenham to Bankstown conversion to ensure the early completion of the Metro West.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay

“A Metro West will cut travel between the region and Sydney. Cutting the journey from one CBD to the other to less than half an hour will transform people’s lives and relieve pressure on the main western rail line.

“Metro West will add a new route. That has to be the goal of any future transport network. The conversion of an existing line from one sort of train to another is not going to do that.”