Labor Puts Public Transport Before Toll Roads In Plan For Sydney’s West And South

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A Foley Labor government will prioritise public transport over toll roads by re-allocating funding from existing Liberal projects into a $13.5 billion public transport acceleration fund.

Labor’s priorities include a fast train between Parramatta and Sydney’s CBD by the mid-2020s as well as improving public transport services in Sydney’s South. 

Labor will accelerate construction of the Western Metro, a new fast rail line between Parramatta and Sydney CBD, by re-allocating funds from the Northern Beaches Tunnel, Western Harbour Tunnel and conversion of the Sydenham-Bankstown line to metro.

Government is about choices and priorities and Labor’s transport plans will give voters a clear choice come next March.

The State Government’s own infrastructure experts have consistently said that a fast train between Sydney’s West and the CBD is the number one rail priority.

In other major transport commitments announced today, Labor will:

  • Proceed with the M12, a toll free motorway to the new Western Sydney Airport;
  • Proceed with the toll free Sydney Gateway, but will also establish a taskforce to actually get the Gateway to Port Botany as was always intended but the Government failed to deliver;
  • Proceed with the M4-M5 tunnel (WestConnex Stage 3A) as, with the Sydney Motorway Corporation privatised and construction contracts signed, this project is now past the point of no return. Labor will also proceed with the Rozelle Interchange (WestConnex Stage 3B), but will subject the project to a design review. The community has no confidence that the Government has got the Rozelle Interchange right. 

Labor will be able to do much more than the Liberals for public transport because it will re-prioritise $4.5 billion:

  • $1.6 billion from the Sydenham to Bankstown conversion, that fails to add new capacity, to the Western Metro;
  • $2.4 billion from the F6 Stage 1 to deliver improved public transport in Sydney’s South including rail services on the Illawarra and South Coast lines;
  • $477 million from the Western Harbour Tunnel and Northern Beaches Tunnel to the Western Metro. Infrastructure Australia has confirmed that the Western Harbour Tunnel is a longer term priority (10-15 years) and it can be considered in the future once the Sydney Metro and Western Metro have been delivered. The total cost of the two tunnels is estimated at $13.7 billion and they will require a massive capital contribution from the NSW Government to ever be realised.

The $4.5 billion is on top of the existing $3 billion Restart NSW reservation for the Western Metro. It is also in addition to the $6 billion committed by Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for Western Sydney rail, including a rail service to Western Sydney Airport up and running from day one.  The Western Sydney Airport will be a major job generator for Western Sydney and has the potential to provide massive economic benefits to the region.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Labor will always put the needs of Sydney’s West and South first.

“A fast train between Parramatta and Sydney’s CBD is Labor’s number one transport priority and we will deliver it earlier because we are making it a priority.“The Liberals are promising everything but are struggling to deliver anything. Premier Berejiklian wants tunnels and toll roads whereas Labor is for faster, affordable public transport for the million extra people who will be living in Western Sydney over the next decade.

“Good government is about making choices and Labor is choosing to put public transport over toll roads.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Michael Daley

“Infrastructure and transport projects under this government are in disarray - they can’t get the planning, procurement or delivery right, communities are angry and they are in court with their contractors. Labor will put an end to this mess.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Transport Minister Jodi McKay

“We will listen to the experts and the community when it comes to WestConnex exhaust stacks and give proper consideration to their filtration to improve environmental outcomes.”