Monday 26th Aug, 2019

Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 uncertainty: Business Chamber wants answers

Parramatta Light Rail at Sydney Olympic Park. Artist's impression: NSW Government

The Western Sydney Business Chamber has raised serious concerns over reports the NSW Government may be reconsidering its options for the second stage of Parramatta’s planned light rail network.

Fairfax last week reported a number of staff working on plans for the proposed second stage connection from Rydalmere to Olympic Park were looking for new work, and there was a level of “uncertainty” about the state government’s plans to continue beyond Stage 1 of the light rail line.

When contacted by Rail Express, a Transport for NSW spokesperson said no decision had been made.

“The Final Business Case for the second stage of Parramatta Light Rail is being considered by the NSW Government, with an investment decision to follow,” the spokesperson said.

“On the ground, investigative works continue along the Stage 2 alignment.”

Responding to the reports of uncertainty, Western Sydney Business Chamber executive director David Borger called on the state to release the business case and a construction timeline for the project.

He said a cancellation of the project “would challenge the NSW Government’s narrative around public transport delivery”.

“Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 is an absolutely critical project to link some of the highest-density, fastest-growing neighbourhoods in Australia,” Borger said on August 12.

“Places like Melrose Park, Wentworth Point, Carter Street – Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 will actually make Sydney Metro West work, by collecting from all these high-density neighbourhoods and delivering them to the front door of the new Metro station at Olympic Park.”

Borger suggested Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 was more justified than the CBD and South East project underway in the city’s primary CBD.

“The area between Sydney and Parramatta has had the highest population growth of any area in the country – it’s unfair that the eastern city gets a light rail with very little increase in population density, and Western Sydney, particularly Parramatta, which has the highest housing completions in New South Wales, could potentially only get half of the light rail system that it needs,” he said.

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