NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley, has announced today that if elected in March he will spend a record amount on public transport in Western Sydney by setting aside $8 billion to fast-track the Western Metro and investing $3 billion to improve Sydney’s existing rail network.
The Liberals and Nationals have spent eight years ignoring the experts on public transport, resulting in badly delayed projects like the Sydney light rail. The Liberals sold NSW electricity assets for $15 billion and then wasted more than $14 billion on transport cost blowouts. In a speech to the Western Sydney Business Chamber outlining Labor’s plan to address the state’s transport challenges, Mr Daley said Labor will be guided by the experts such as Infrastructure NSW and Infrastructure Australia when making decisions regarding future transport projects. Labor’s focus on Western Sydney is headlined with $8 billion for a metro rail line between Parramatta and Sydney’s CBD - almost triple the investment of the Liberals, who routinely ignore expert advice. Experts have consistently said that investment in public transport should shift to the West.
- Reserve $8 billion to fast-track the Western Metro between the Sydney CBD and Parramatta;
- Undertake a major $3 billion investment in Sydney’s existing rail network;
- Work with Federal Labor on the Western Sydney Airport rail project following its commitment of $3 billion; and
- Enter into an MoU with Liverpool Council and provide $10 million for preliminary work on rapid transport between Western Sydney Airport and Sydney’s South West.
More than one million trips are taken on the rail network every day and yet overcrowding and on-time running are only getting worse. Mr Daley said that the people who use our trains today can’t wait for promised new rail lines in the coming decades. They want immediate investment in the rail network now. Labor’s $3 billion upgrade of our existing rail network will be guided by a board of experts to increase services, improve punctuality and create more reliable journeys.
Mr Daley said:
“This investment goes to the heart of one of Labor’s core priorities, to provide people with efficient, government-run, public transport."
“This government has wasted more than $14 billion on misplanned and poorly-executed projects like the Sydney light rail and WestConnex. “Trains are running late, the system can’t cope with increased demand and the public can no longer rely on government to deliver a basic service. The Liberals are struggling to deliver transport today, let alone transport for tomorrow.
“Labor will deliver realistic and affordable transport projects for a growing population.” “That’s why if I’m elected as Premier in March, I will allow local communities and the business community to view plans for transport and infrastructure projects valued at more than $1 billion, through Public Planning Inquiries (PPIs),” he said. On the back of recent findings by the NRMA that the local road infrastructure backlog has increased by 30 per cent, Labor will also:
- Boost investment in rural and regional roads by $900 million; and
- Expand the Pinch Point Program to $1.1 billion to ease congestion.
Ms McKay said: “While the Liberals have spent billions on wayward mega toll roads, Labor will work to support local councils to improve local roads to make the trip to the shops, school or work just that much easier.
“The Liberals and Nationals have been reckless when it comes to infrastructure projects in NSW, which has allowed projects like the Sydney light rail to become wasteful disasters.”
PPIs will ensure proper planning processes are followed and communities and independent experts are properly consulted. They will be conducted in tandem with the development assessment phase to ensure projects are delivered efficiently. Unlike the current Liberal planning process, PPIs would ensure that no approval for a project is granted or work commenced before a full business case is provided and independent experts have assessed the project.
PPIs would avoid planning failures of the past when, for example, bureaucrats were instructed not to examine public transport options for the southern suburbs of Sydney, which resulted in an inadequate first phase of the F6 motorway and when then-Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian flatly ignored the advice of engineering experts and pushed ahead with the Sydney light rail.
LABOR HAS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED IT WILL:
- Provide free public transport to schoolchildren ·
- Deliver a cashback on the M4
- Reduce the airport access fee to $5 and eliminate it altogether for airport workers
- Provide refunds for avoidable delays of more than 30 minutes
- Hold a Judicial Inquiry into WestConnex and Sydney Light Rail
- No further privatisations of public transport
- Review the Sydney train timetable and Hunter bus timetable
- Maintain guards on public train networks
- Review the classification of roads
- Review Federal Assistance Grants to ensure a more equitable allocation to rural and regional areas ·
- Invest $1 billion into train station upgrades and commuter car parks