Home杭州桑拿 › Parramatta light rail line via Sydney Olympic Park gets green light

Parramatta light rail line via Sydney Olympic Park gets green light

An artists’s impression of how the line will look at Rydalmere Photo: Supplied The light rail envisioned in Camellia. Photo: Supplied
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An artist’s impression of the light rail at Sydney Olympic Park. Photo: Supplied

Tens of thousands of new homes will spring up along a corridor from Westmead in Sydney’s west to Olympic Park, and north to Carlingford, helping to fund a multi-billion-dollar light rail project connecting Parramatta.

Major construction of the long-anticipated 22-kilometre line from Westmead to Strathfield via Parramatta’s CBD, and incorporating Camellia and Olympic Park. will begin in 2019. An arm of the line will branch to Carlingford in the north-west, replacing an under-utilised heavy rail track that carries just 800 passengers during the morning travel peak.

Confirming the corridor on Tuesday, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said he hoped the line would be built within five years but a “better idea of timeframe” would not be known until private-sector negotiations were completed.

The government has committed $1 billion to the Parramatta light rail project, but it expects a significant contribution from the private sector via so-called “value capture” – a form of public financing aimed at recovering windfall gains landowners pocket from the construction of public infrastructure.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the light rail corridor opened the way for the rejuvenation of some of the “decaying and under-utilised heavy industrial areas” in places such as Camellia and near Sydney Olympic Park. “It will also provide opportunities for thousands of new homes well located in areas close to the Parramatta River,” he said.

The NSW Department of Planning estimates as many as 10,000 homes could be built at Camellia alone.

Premier Mike Baird would not be drawn on the total cost of the project, but said it would be “clearly more than originally anticipated” because it was no longer just a single route.

A business case will finalise the exact route of the line and stops, and the cost.

Under plans for a “special infrastructure contribution” from the private sector, a levy of about $200 per square metre will be set for new residential developments along the corridor. Funding from the levy will also go towards infrastructure, such as new schools and road upgrades.

Developer group Urban Taskforce raised concerns about the plans for the levy on new apartments.

Labor leader Luke Foley, who has called for a light rail line between Parramatta and Olympic Park, also criticised the government for the levy, saying no one in the eastern suburbs would need to pay “an additional $20,000 per apartment for their light rail project” from Sydney’s CBD to Randwick and Kensington in the east.

“Why is it that the people of western Sydney will be slugged a tax to have light rail?” he asked.

Preliminary construction such as identifying utilities will begin as early as 2018 before major work on the light rail line starts a year later. The most complex parts of the project will be from Westmead and through Parramatta’s CBD, which will inevitably result in compulsory acquisitions of properties. Industrial land at Camellia will also require significant remediation work.

While many councils and business groups welcomed confirmation of the light rail corridor, Ryde mayor Jerome Laxale said the decision was a huge loss for Macquarie Park and a massive shock to commuters.

“Linking Macquarie Park and Parramatta makes sense. It is the missing link in our transport network, and will remain so due to this ill-considered decision, ” he said.

The other routes considered for a light rail line were from Parramatta to Castle Hill via Old Northern Road; and Parramatta to Bankstown.

Mr Constance conceded that those two routes would have to rely on the bus network for north-south travel via public transport.

Mr Baird said the light rail route was the first step, and there would be opportunities to “go further, longer and wider in the longer term, but we are starting with this”.

He dismissed concerns about the light rail duplicating the existing heavy rail link to Parramatta. “This goes to places where heavy rail doesn’t and connects into them – we make no apologies,” he said.

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue chairman Christopher Brown said about 50,000 new homes would be built along the corridor, and he hoped the light rail would eventually extend to the Hills District and Bankstown.

Mr Brown said major remediation work at Camellia – once the site of an oil refinery and an asbestos factory – would be paid for by the private sector, which was comfortable with the government’s plans for “value capture”.

“The private sector will pay to clear up Camellia, as it cleared up … Olympic Park,” he said.

Parramatta MP Geoff Lee said the project was a solution to the “dysfunctional” heavy rail line to Carlingford.

“Nobody actually likes using it because it is so dysfunctional,” he said.

Mr Baird confirmed the route for the light rail line at the launch in Parramatta on Tuesday of a Deloitte report that outlined plans for the creation of 200,000 jobs in western Sydney within four years.

The Deloitte report said the line’s development had the potential to create 38,000 extra jobs in the Sydney Olympic Park corridor by 2036.

The Premier also announced plans to shift 1800 Department of Education staff from offices in Sydney’s CBD to Parramatta. However, the government is yet to reveal exactly where in Parramatta it plans to house the public servants.

It comes just weeks after the Commonwealth Bank decided to shift thousands of employees from Parramatta after it signed a deal to become anchor tenant of a $1 billion development at n Technology Park near Redfern Station.

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