By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
Another one of our major public transport projects is taking shape in Sydney’s East and it was great to witness the first tracks for the city’s newest light rail line being cemented into place.
Construction on the CBD and South East light rail project has entered a new phase with the first 60 metres of track laid on Anzac Parade at Kensington. I joined Transport Minister Andrew Constance for the occasion, marking a major milestone in delivering a project that will encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport.
The 12 kilometre route links Circular Quay and the CBD to Randwick and Kingsford via Surry Hills and the Moore Park sporting precinct. It will change the way people commute through the heart of our city and I would like to encourage residents, businesses, commuters and motorists to be patient as construction ramps up.
More than 13,000 commuters will be able to travel in both directions between the CBD and Sydney’s eastern suburbs between 7am and 7pm when the service comes online.
We know congestion is a major issue that is expected to get worse if nothing is done to increase public transport options, with daily trips to central Sydney expected to increase by almost 25 per cent by 2031. When the line is completed and combined with express and local bus services, it will increase capacity during the morning peak by 30 per cent.
There are 900 people currently working on the project, and that number is expected to rise to 1,500 at the peak of construction. Almost 15 of 31 construction zones are now live, including work on the tunnel under Anzac parade at Moore Park.
More tracks will be laid in multiple zones over the coming months and the new line will be completed and operating in 2019.
The first tracks being laid as part of this project mark an historic moment for the eastern suburbs community, which is finally receiving this long-overdue transport infrastructure.
In other news, the country’s most recognisable and most visited building, the Sydney Opera House, will undergo its biggest upgrade since it opened 43 years ago.
We’ve released the designs that show areas of the Opera House that will undergo a comprehensive update. Pedestrian access will be improved in the space beneath the Monumental Steps to finally bring the function centre into the building. That will allow us to remove the large marquee that has become a permanent fixture outside the Opera House.
Children will also have a dedicated space for the first time, with a new Creative Learning Centre to give them a unique education experience.
The project will be funded through a $202 million investment from the NSW Government’s Cultural Infrastructure Fund.
The Opera House has played an important role in our nation’s history and embarking on these renewal projects will ensure that it continues to be relevant for generations to come.