By JOE BOURKE
The state government’s mention of potential light rail from the city to Green Square has been met with caution. Minister for Transport Andrew Constance told an audience last week he would be “very keen” to see light rail going to Green Square to address congestion.
Greens Transport spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi said the Greens supported the idea but said it needed more planning than current light rail projects.
“The government now needs to learn from the mistakes of the CBD and South East Light Rail project and actually plan the project for the commuters and minimise the risk of cost blowouts and expensive redesigns,” she said.
Light rail to Green Square would come with the support of the City of Sydney, who has long advocated for light rail between the city and the suburb.
City of Sydney Council has spent more than $40 million on properties for a bus and light rail route from Central to Green Square.
REDWatch spokesperson Geoff Turnbull said he welcomed the idea of light rail connecting the city to Green Square but that the government must discuss the plans with the community.
“We welcome the announcement that the government is looking at light rail options in that area, but what we want to see is a transport plan that addresses the issues for areas like Green Square and increasingly, what’s happening around Central to Eveleigh, and the growth that’s happening around the City of Sydney,” he said.
“There is a lot of expertise out there and what should happen is that a transport plan should be put out there early on in terms of what they’re thinking of doing so we can actually tap into that expertise and there can be discussion about it.”
The state government has been widely criticised in the past for a lack of community consultation on major transport projects, including the Central to Eveleigh corridor and WestConnex.
A spokesperson for the Minister told City Hub that Transport for NSW was committed to ensuring Green Square is “served by adequate public transport”.
“Light Rail is one option to meet the needs of the local community and we’re working with the City of Sydney on the best possible solutions,” the spokesperson said.
Ms Faruqi also marked WestConnex as a reason for future congestion in Green Square.
“One thing the government could do to improve congestion around Alexandria and Green Square into the future is cancelling the ridiculous multibillion dollar WestConnex toll road that could funnel thousands of cars into this already densely populated area,” she said.