Parramatta Light Rail is now full steam ahead with stage 1 of the project now receiving planning approval meaning construction will start within months.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance, Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts and Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee in Parramatta today to confirm the approval of stage 1 of the project from Westmead to Carlingford via Parramatta CBD and Camellia.
“Parramatta Light Rail will connect major Western Sydney precincts for the first time and make it possible for people to ‘turn up and go’ to employment, cultural, entertainment and sports destinations,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“This is an exciting time for the people of Parramatta and for visitors to this fantastic part of Sydney.
“Parramatta Light Rail will create close to 5000 jobs, connect communities along the route and transform the way that people explore all the attractions that Western Sydney has to offer, with a light rail service every 7.5 minutes in peak periods.
“Major projects such as Parramatta Light Rail are only possible thanks to the strong economic management of the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.”
Mr Constance said approval of stage 1 means construction on the project is on track to begin by the end of 2018.
“Parramatta Light Rail is part of the NSW Government’s $80 billion infrastructure pipeline, which includes the largest transport infrastructure program in Australia with $43 billion of investment over the next four years,” Mr Constance said.
“Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 will deliver frequent and reliable public transport not only for the people of Parramatta but for all those who come here to work, study, access essential services or to simply relax and take in a football game.”
Stage 1 of Parramatta Light Rail will link Westmead to Carlingford via Parramatta CBD and Camellia, connecting key destinations including the Westmead Precinct, the new Western Sydney Stadium, the new Powerhouse Museum and three Western Sydney University campuses as well as brand-new communities at Camellia and Telopea.
Mr Roberts said planning approval follows extensive consultation with the community, local businesses and major stakeholders, including Westmead Hospital, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Western Sydney University, the City of Parramatta Council, Western Sydney Business Chamber and the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce.
“People across the region have taken the time to share their feedback and we have listened, with a number of significant design changes made in response to further investigation and issues raised by stakeholders and the community,” Mr Roberts said.
Dr Lee said Parramatta Light Rail will help the Greater Parramatta Growth Area become better-connected, more accessible and liveable as the region rapidly grows.
“Greater Parramatta is experiencing unprecedented growth, with more than 72,000 new homes planned for this region over the next 20 years. Parramatta Light Rail is an essential part of our plan for this growth,” Dr Lee said.
Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 is the first step of this major project with construction and operation contracts set to be awarded in the third quarter 2018.
The NSW Government has allocated $1 billion to Stage 1 of the project and the final cost will be known and released when contacts are signed.
A final business case for a planned Stage 2, which connects the Parramatta CBD to Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point and Sydney Olympic Park, is also due to be completed by the end of 2018.
Parramatta Light Rail will begin construction later this year and is expected to begin services in 2023.