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Western Sydney councils warns against transport infrastructure underinvestment

The WSROC is presenting to a NSW committee about the current ‘underinvestment’ in Western Sydney transport infrastructure projects

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has warned that Western Sydney locals could face longer travel times at a greater cost and inconvenience due to underinvestment in transport infrastructure in the region.

The WSROC says it could also strangle Australia’s third largest economy that’s worth roughly $170 billion per year.

The forecast was delivered by WSROC CEO Charles Casuscelli to the NSW government’s Legislative Assembly Committee on Transport and Infrastructure hearings into critical transport infrastructure supporting both the Western Sydney International Airport and the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.

With Western Sydney already home to 2.7 million people, the WSROC has warned against underfunding transport in the region.

“By 2036, Western Sydney will grow by another 800,000 residents and contribute another 250,000 resident workers that will need to travel outside of Western Sydney for a job,” Casuscelli says.

“WSROC is unaware of any plans, nor any funding commitments towards transport infrastructure at sufficient scale or timeliness to deliver the roads and public transport capacity to address this particular growth challenge.”

The cross-party committee is inquiring into transport infrastructure options to support the new Western Sydney International Airport that’s due to open in 2026 as well as the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.

The committee will also look at how the infrastructure will be funded and consider the impact of potentially huge numbers of additional employment movements in the region.

“The NSW government, to its credit, has committed $7.9 billion over four years to deliver the 23-kilometre ‘Sydney Metro–Western Sydney Airport’ rail link, though with just four new stations from St Marys through to the new airport and the Western Sydney Aerotropolis it will do very little to improve transport for Western Sydney residents,” Casuscelli says.

The WSROC is calling for the accelerated delivery of the North South/Western Sydney Airport Line from Campbelltown to Hawkesbury in its entirety, with the CEO’s remarks being supported by WSROC president Councillor Barry Calvert.

“The people of Greater Western Sydney have already endured decades of under-investment in the region’s transport infrastructure adversely impacting the liveability of Western Sydney communities,” Calvert says.

“Unless there is substantial investment in new railway stations, for instance, in Western Sydney, more than 560,000 extra people in our rapidly growing region won’t have appropriate access to trains within just 13 years, we will create even greater liveability challenges for our residents.

“Essentially, we urgently need a serious commitment by both state and federal governments to improving the region’s public transport infrastructure at a network scale— including expanding rail links between existing population centres and building more train stations to support the orderly development of new higher density communities around transport nodes.

“Without substantial investments in transport infrastructure, population growth on that scale will seriously impact quality of life, impede productivity and retard the region’s economic development and its contribution to the state economy.

“Western Sydney’s over-reliance on private cars in the absence of adequate transport even threatens the New South Wales government’s ability to reach its own Net Zero carbon emissions target.”

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