Premier Mike Baird has declared he will get on with the job of making a second Sydney airport undefined and the infrastructure that supports it undefined a reality.
Premier Mike Baird / Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: News Corp Australia
His government is already setting aside a corridor for the rail line that will eventually link the new airport with the South West Rail Link and ultimately the Western Line. The proposed route of the $5 billion line will be released for public consultation today but will not be built until after the road links and airport.
Mr Baird has set himself apart from his predecessor Barry O’Farrell’s lukewarm support for the second airport project, declaring “Hallelujah” that a decision had been made. But he said: “It’s roads first, the airport second and then rail.”
Backing the airport, he said: “It provides an incredible opportunity for jobs, for business, for housing undefined it comes as an economic powerhouse for Western Sydney.
“The federal government’s made a decision. Hallelujah, let’s get on and make it reality.”
The rail line would run from the end of the South West Link at Leppington to Bringelly and Badgerys Creek, south to Oran Park and Narellan and then north to connect to the Western Line at St Marys.
Mr Baird has long been a supporter of a Badgerys Creek airport. Mr O’Farrell previously backed a second airport at Canberra before finally supporting Badgerys Creek once it became clear Prime Minister Tony Abbott was going to proceed with it.
The first projects to be upgraded will be Elizabeth Drive and Bringelly Rd, with the federal government providing $5 billion for road upgrades. In relation to the prospect of an M7 widening, Mr Baird said: “That’s a longer-term proposal that needs to be considered as infrastructure starts to come to fruition.”
And he said rail line “provides an opportunity not just for the airport but for Western Sydney”.
“What this shows is that the decision’s made on the airport, let’s get cracking and we’ll be doing everything possible to build the infrastructure, certainly starting with the roads ASAP but this is a clear indication we are pushing the go button and ripping into it,” he said.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said consultation would begin this week on reserving the corridor for the rail, which would “link jobs, service hubs and communities in the southwest with Sydney’s existing and future public transport and roads networks”.
“To begin with undefined when the airport’s air traffic will be less than 10 per cent of that at Sydney Airport undefined access to the second Sydney airport will be provided through road upgrades, park and ride facilities and public transport services, including new express buses,” she said. “Longer term we are putting plans in place to make sure Sydney’s rail network will connect Badgerys Creek airport with the rapidly-growing communities that will rely on it.” She added the South West Rail Link was due to open in 2015 “one year ahead of schedule and $100 million below the $2.1 billion budget”.
Ms Berejiklian said reserving the corridors wasn’t “just about servicing an airport, it’s about servicing Western Sydney communities with appropriate transport links, now and into the future”.
By reserving the corridors, it would keep the costs of building the rail line down.
Government sources said in present dollars, the links would cost between $4 billion to $5 billion to build.
“We’ve seen previous growth centres of Sydney let down by insufficient transport planning by previous governments and we’re not making that mistake,” Ms Berejiklian said. “This corridor planning means when the time comes to extend the South West Rail Link, we will be ready and costs will be lower.”
Source: News Local by Andrew Clennell. Full article.