The Western Sydney business community has called on the NSW government to prepare Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 as an economic stimulus project for the region following internal government polling that shows the project’s growing community support.
Internal government polling for the project by Newgate Research, released under Freedom of Information, found a 10 per cent increase in positive community support towards Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 in 12 months.
Knowledge of the proposed route for Stage 2 has increased from 60 per cent in 2018 to 71 per cent the following year, and the likelihood to use Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 route has increased from 54 per cent to 67 per cent.
David Borger, Western Sydney Business Chamber executive director said the jump in support for Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 is remarkable.
“The NSW government will need to use the state’s infrastructure pipeline to kickstart the economy after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and projects such as Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 can be made shovel ready over the coming months to be a key stimulus project next year,” he said.
“The communities along the Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 route and Western Sydney more broadly will be bitterly disappointed if the NSW Government fails to honour its public transport commitments to the region.”
Borger said the future of Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 has been unclear and the proven community support should get the project back on track.
“Building Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 will help unlock the full potential of the Greater Parramatta and Olympic Peninsula region,” he said.
Allison Taylor, CEO of the Sydney Olympic Park Business Association said the association and Western Sydney Business Chamber have been vocal advocates for the NSW government delivering on its commitment to build the entire Parramatta Light Rail network for both stage 1 and 2.
“What the government’s internal polling confirms is the more the local communities along the preferred route know about the project, the more they like it. They want the government to provide better transport through the region to key centres like Sydney Olympic Park and Parramatta,” Taylor said.
“Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 is a critical link to the growing communities in Wentworth Point and Melrose Park.”
The report also indicated sentiment towards local public transport is positive with most respondents rating services as either excellent, good or fair.
“Unprompted transport priorities continue to focus on increased frequency of buses and trains and there is a growing desire for more frequent and reliable services – particularly in Stage 2,” the report stated in its findings.
Results revealed that positive sentiment increases with knowledge of the Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2, with better and more convenient connections remaining the most common reason for feeling positive about the project compared to results in 2018.