Coun­cil calls for trains

MAYOR SAYS THAT AREA AND AIR­PORT RE­QUIRE RAIL LINKS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ali­son Bald­ing

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

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