Council calls for trains
MAYOR SAYS THAT AREA AND AIRPORT REQUIRE RAIL LINKS
PENRITH Council is calling on its residents to use people power to campaign for a train line to be built from the north and south-west growth areas at the same time as the new Western Sydney airport.
The council has launched a survey on its website and is calling on residents to lobby the government for the rail link.
The campaign follows the Federal Government’s re- lease last week of the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek.
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss did not reply to questions from The
Standard before deadline but, as previously reported, said the airport would rely on road links initially, because there would not be enough passengers to justify a rail link.
But leaving it 10 years after the airport is built “would just be a missed opportunity”, according to Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown.
“We are going to strongly advocate for this (rail link),” Cr McKeown said.
The NSW Government has plans for an additional public transport corridor in Western Sydney, which is proposed to connect Leppington station to Bringelly and then head in two directions: north to the Western Line near St Marys and south to Narellan.
Penrith Council assistant general manager Craig Butler said infrastructure was needed before the population growth.
“The idea is to put the infrastructure in place first and people chase the rail and that way you transform Western Sydney,” he said.
A spokesman for NSW Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance said: “We’ve already agreed on a 10-year program for $3.6 billion in road upgrades and look forward to working with Canberra on more supporting infrastructure.”
Chifley federal Labor MP Ed Husic said an airport rail line should not take precedence over other infrastructure needs.
“As much as I have disagreements with the Government with what they’re proposing in terms of the second airport itself, I do think they’ve got a much better approach in staggering out connecting rail link,” Mr Husic said.
Should a train line be built with the new airport? @thedruitt