City News

Sydney Metro’s cash injection

By Joe Bourke

 

The NSW government released their 2015 budget last Tuesday June 23, allocating more than $1 billion for Sydney Metro rail projects.
$84 million of the funds were allocated to a new station at Barangaroo and development of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest. This line is set to run through the CBD to Bankstown.
Co-convenor of EcoTransit Sydney, Gavin Gatenby, criticised the government’s Metro plans as “an attempt to set in motion the privatisation of Sydney’s rail network”.
The Metro has also come under fire for not being integrated with the rest of Sydney’s transport network.
“They’re going to try and introduce single deck trains running through very small tunnels,” Mr Gatenby said.
“They’ve made them 400 millimetres too small in diameter so they can’t be used by Sydney’s current double deck fleet, and that’s quite deliberate to try and kind of lock them out…”
The previous CBD Metro, shelved by the Keneally Labor government in 2011, was criticised heavily for its lack of integration.
But Transport Minister Andrew Constance called the government’s transport plans “game-changing”, saying it would improve services across the board.
“This year’s transport budget, together with the funds we’ve unlocked through the NSW government’s $20 billion Rebuilding NSW Plan, mean we can continue at rapid pace to modernise transport services and infrastructure across the state,” he said.
Greens spokesperson for Transport Mehreen Faruqi attacked the transport budget, saying it included “$84 million to keep on pushing the private metro agenda beyond the North West Rail Link”.
“[The budget] only locks in the projects we know won’t solve congestion or expand public transport, and it does nothing to keep our transport network affordable, integrated or publicly owned,” she said.