By JAMES HARRISON
Controversy has arisen between Tanya Plibersek, former Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, and Eleni Petinos, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Roads, over the lack of future investment into public transport infrastructure around the Green Square area.
There is projected to be 61,000 people living in Green Square by 2030, a vast increase due to the construction of new residential dwellings in Green Square, Rosebery and Victoria Park Parade, which will increase the population of the area by 30,500 over the coming decade. This will result in Green Square becoming more congested than London or New York, according to Plibersek.
Transport proposals in a growing suburb
Plibersek has proposed a Green Square Metro station located between Waterloo and Sydenham to deal with overcrowding and congestion experienced by travellers in the area. While the coalition have injected $880 million into stage 2 of the More Trains, More Services program, allowing more frequent trains on the T8 Airport and South Line during peak hours, travellers are still experiencing congestion and overcrowding.
“The assessment identified that new underground metro stations at Erskineville, Green Square, St Peters or Newtown would not serve a new rail catchment and would result in a limited shift to public transport services. However, a station at Waterloo will take pressure off Redfern and Green Square stations and provide local residents with more transport options,” wrote Petinos, on behalf of Minister Andrew Constance, in a letter to Plibersek.
Plibersek responded following an inquiry with Tim Raimond regarding the NSW Government’s plans for addressing the future transport needs of Green Square. “I am not convinced that a single stop at Waterloo and increasing the carrying capacity of existing services are sufficient to adequately address the transport crisis that will be unfolding in Green Square over the next 5 to 10 years.”
She also stressed the importance of Green Square’s proximity, being three and a half kilometres from the city and four kilometres from the airport.
“Bypassing Green Square on the Sydney Metro line is short-sighted and will leave the area ill-prepared for the intense population growth and development that has been allowed in the area by successive governments.
“I understand that tunnelling for the line has already commenced and that including an additional station at this stage would impose addition costs. However, I whole heartedly believe that failure to adequately plan for the immediate and future needs of Green Square will leave this vital region in a far worse position. I am strongly of the view that this decision will be one that future generations will see as absurdly short-sighted,” Plibersek wrote to Petinos.
Macquarie Bank development
Plibersek expressed particular discontent with the NSW government’s decision to allow a $200 million change to the Sydney Metro following an unsolicited proposal by Macquarie Bank.
“If a bank can demand a $200 million change to the project, then a perfectly reasonable request from the residents of my local community is surely possible,” Plibersek wrote to Constance.
City Hub‘s previous reporting on Sydney’s new Metro Rail: http://cityhubsydney.com.au/?s=metro+rail
City Hub‘s previous reporting on Tanya Plibersek: http://cityhubsydney.com.au/?s=plibersek