Introducing Sydney Metro : NSW Premier Mike Baird
By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
I’d like to open this column with an update on what my team is doing to improve Sydney’s public transport system and ease congestion on our roads.
Legislation has passed Parliament this week that allows us to move ahead with the plan to partially lease the state’s electricity assets – or poles and wires. The decision ends two decades of indecision over the idea, and paves the way for making our $20 billion infrastructure plan a reality.
The day the legislation passed Parliament I headed out onto a drilling barge in the middle of Sydney Harbour to provide an update on our Sydney Metro project.
Sydney Metro is the new name for Sydney Rapid Transit and was changed after community feedback showed us people prefer a simple name like the London Tube or the Metro in Paris and Dubai. This was a project announced during the election campaign and features a plan to build a desperately-needed second rail crossing under Sydney Harbour.
Sydney Metro will be the new backbone of our public transport network and has two core components: Sydney Metro Northwest, and Sydney Metro City & Southwest. The first will take in the 36km North West Rail Link already under construction, and the latter will include a new 30km metro line that will run under the harbour, through the CBD and west to Bankstown.
We are excited to be cracking on with this plan to make it easier for people to get around this city and reduce congestion on our roads. Once the project is complete it will boost capacity to move an extra 100,000 people across the network every hour.
In the meantime, there’s been a tunnelling milestone on the North West Rail Link.
The first of four tunnel boring machines have broken through what will be the new Showground Station site, one of eight new stations being built as part of the $8.3 billion project. Showground Station is being built underground with platforms about 20 metres beneath the surface, providing access to existing residential development, the Castle Hill Showground and nearby employment areas.
The four tunnelling machines are in the ground and have so far built more than 12 kilometres of new tunnels, well over a third of the new 30 kilometre of tunnelling required for the project. The twin 15 kilometre tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping are Australia’s longest ever railway tunnels. More than one million tonnes of crushed rock has been excavated from the tunnels and recycled on commercial, residential and environmental projects elsewhere in Sydney.
The project is ahead of schedule and the rapid progress demonstrates that when we start a major project we get on with delivering it as quickly as possible.
Finally, I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who applied for, or nominated their favourite media professional for this year’s Multicultural Media Awards.
A record number of applications have been received for consideration in this year’s awards, which is a reflection of the strength of the state’s community media. At a time when the mainstream media is contracting, the ethnic media is thriving and we welcome the contributions made by our media professionals who play such an important role in keeping our ethnic communities informed.
The winners will be announced at a special event in the Sydney CBD on Thursday 25 June and I would like to wish everyone who submitted an application the best of luck!