NSW advances freight rail infrastructure planning

Fast track for Narrabri North Star Phase 1, Botany duplication and Cabramatta loop.

NSW advances freight rail infrastructure planning
Rob Stokes


New South Wales is accelerating the planning process for several freight rail projects as part of a Covid-19 economic impact salve.

The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) views the projects’ placement on the Planning System Acceleration Program (PSAP) fast track as "crucial stimulus for the state while creating infrastructure that will bust congestion and support the NSW’s long term growth".

 "It is good to see the NSW government recognise the significant community benefits rail delivers by accelerating these projects," ARA CEO Caroline Wilkie says.

"Infrastructure investment will be the cornerstone of our economic recovery and sustainable, long term rail projects will form an important part of that."

The new tranche of projects to go through the fast track process include the:

  • $700 million Narrabri North Star Phase 1 project – part of Inland Rail
  • $273 million Botany Rail Duplication
  • $115 million Cabramatta Rail Loop.

Wilkie says she looks forward to seeing these projects get underway sooner.

"The Inland Rail will transform our national freight network and create new opportunities for the regions," she adds.

"In Sydney, the Botany Rail Duplication will increase the use of rail freight and ease congestion on key commuter road networks surrounding the port precinct.

"This is a great example of improved project approvals processes making a real difference for businesses, jobs and the people that depend on them."

The projects will now undergo fast tracked assessment through the Planning System Acceleration Program, with decisions to be made by 14.

Read about Victoria’s latest freight rail spending pledge, here

Planning and public spaces minister Rob Stokes included the rail freight items amongst 13 new projects that will be determined by August 14.

"The fast-tracked assessment program is a key part of the NSW Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Plan as we continue to get shovel-ready projects out the door to keep people in jobs and keep the economy moving," Stokes says.

"This latest tranche of projects could enable the next step in Central Sydney’s technology transformation, as well as major revamps for the Kensington to Kingsford light rail corridor, a billion-dollar renewal of Blacktown CBD and a new over-station development at the future Crows Nest Metro Station.

"Improved freight rail capacity for south Sydney and Port Botany, the Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail, a new educational facility in Campbelltown and a Cricket NSW Centre of Excellence at Sydney Olympic Park also make the list.

"To date, we’ve determined 67 projects through the Planning System Acceleration Program since it launched on 28 April, which has created the opportunity for almost 40,000 jobs, $17.7 billion in economic benefit, more than 18,000 homes and more than 4 million sqm of open space, parks and land for environmental conservation."

To be considered for a fast-tracked assessment through the PSAP, a development application (DA) or rezoning must already be in the state’s planning system, deliver a public benefit and demonstrate an ability to create jobs during construction and once complete.


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