New South Wales is set to plough ahead with the second stage of a major light rail project despite the state’s infrastructure advisory body warning that it should consider delaying procurement and construction of new large and complex infrastructure projects until current megaprojects are well advanced.

In its latest announcement, the NSW Government said it has committed $602.4 million to start works and commence a detailed planning process to proceed with Parramatta Light Rail Stage Two.

The project is the latest in more than $178 billion worth of infrastructure developments in which the state has invested over the past ten years.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the announcement built on a pipeline of work which was unmatched in Australian history.

“We’ve overseen a great decade of delivery and that will continue with another transformative Western Sydney Project linking Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park,” Perrottet said.

“This vital piece of infrastructure will support the growth of Western Sydney while linking to another enormous project in (new train line) Sydney Metro West, improving quality of life by slashing daily commute times.

“Our strong economic management allows us to continue to invest in the future of our communities to build the projects that make a real difference.”

Map of Parramatta Light Rail

Part of a plan to facilitate the growth of Parramatta as Sydney’s second CBD as part of the Greater Sydney Commission’s vision to transform Greater Sydney into a metropolis of three cities by 2040, the light rail project aims to help locals and visitors alike to move around and explore what the region has to offer.

Stage 1 is set to open in 2023 and will connect Westmead to Carlingford via the Parramatta CBD and Camellia with a two-way track spanning 12 kilometers. This route will link Parramatta’s CBD and train station to the Westmead Health Precinct, Cumberland Hospital Precinct, CommBank Stadium, the Camellia Town Centre, the new science, technology and innovation museum Powerhouse Parramatta, the private and social housing redevelopment at Telopea, Rosehill Gardens Racecourse and three Western Sydney University campuses.

The laying of tracks across this stage has recently been finished, as has construction of the light rail stops along Church Street.

Stage 2 will will connect Stage 1 and Parramatta’s CBD to Sydney Olympic Park via Camellia, Ermington, Melrose Park and Wentworth Point (see map). It will link communities north and south of the Parramatta River directly to the Parramatta CBD, the Camellia Town Centre, as well as the booming sport, entertainment, education and employment hub at Sydney Olympic Park, and to the Carter Street Precinct.

Features will include:

  • 15 stops of a 10-kilometre, two-way track.
  • Three interchange connections with the Stage 1 alignment
  • A 5-kilometre walking and bike-riding path running parallel to the light rail corridor and linking to the existing network
  • A shared light rail and pedestrian zone along Dawn Fraser Avenue in Sydney Olympic Park between Australia Avenue and Olympic Boulevard
  • New light rail and active transport bridges, including vital connections over the Parramatta River from Camellia to Rydalmere and Melrose Park to Wentworth Point.

The latest funding will be applied early works including construction of the Wentworth Point Bridge connecting Wentworth Point to Melrose Park.

This will occur while detailed planning work for the next stage gets underway.

Making of tracks for Stage 1 of Parramatta Light Rail

The funding announcement comes after Infrastructure NSW on Tuesday advised the NSW Government to consider delaying procurement and construction activities for new projects until progress on current megaprojects are well advanced.

This advice was given in light of current resource constraints on infrastructure delivery in Australia.

Stage 2 of the Parramatta Light Rail was one such project with regard to which Infrastructure NSW suggested that the timing be pushed back.

Property Industry lobby groups welcomed the funding announcement.

Describing the light rail as a ‘key city shaping project’, the Urban Development Institute of Australia says the network is an essential transport enhancement that will link the Sydney Rail network to existing centres and future growth precincts in the Central River City and the Parramatta CBD.

UDIA says Light Rail will support the delivery of housing diversity and demand in the Central River City (Parramatta), which is expected to take the bulk of future growth in Sydney over the next 5-10 years. This includes up to 44,000 dwellings that are presently in the delivery phase to support an extra 300,000 residents.

“UDIA sees this as a great opportunity to deliver 30-minute city principles linking existing and future growth centres including Sydney Olympic Park, Wentworth Point, Melrose Park, and the Camellia Rosehill Precinct with the fast-developing Parramatta CBD,” said Steve Mann, CEO, UDIA NSW.

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee said the investment would support the growing population along the Parramatta River.

“This will connect people from the Parramatta CBD to Sydney Olympic Park via the growing Camellia, Rydalmere, Ermington, Melrose Park and Wentworth Point,” Lee said.

“It means residents won’t be condemned to a car-dependent future and businesses will be supported by a world-class mass transit system.”



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