By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
Western Sydney is Australia’s economic powerhouse and it was a pleasure to announce a new $2 billion light rail line for Parramatta as well as a huge jobs boost for the growing region.
I joined the Minister for Transport Andrew Constance and Planning Minister Rob Stokes to unveil the preferred route for the much-anticipated Parramatta Light Rail project, which will deliver a modern, efficient and reliable light rail network for Western Sydney.
The new line will connect Parramatta’s CBD to the key hubs of Sydney Olympic Park, Westmead Hospital, Western Sydney University and Strathfield and will help Parramatta reach its potential as Sydney’s second CBD.
The 22-kilometre corridor will provide a major boost to existing public transport services across Western Sydney, which will give people more options to leave the car at home while travelling from A-to-B.
Four corridors for light rail had been short-listed and the preferred network includes a combination of two of these options.
The spine of the route will run from Westmead to Strathfield, through the Parramatta CBD, giving us an opportunity to transform some of the decaying industrial areas around places like Camellia and Sydney Olympic Park on the way, and connect into precincts such as Westmead Hospital. The line will also branch out to Carlingford using the existing heavy rail corridor.
This network will open up an opportunity for development and employment across all of these areas providing a great big economic boost not just for Western Sydney, but for the entire state.
We are now working on the final business case, which will determine the final costs and configurations. We envision there will be opportunities to go further and longer and wider in the longer term.
In another boost to Western Sydney, all Department of Education staff currently working in the Sydney CBD will move to offices at Parramatta.
The move will provide even more opportunities for Western Sydney residents to work closer to where they live, reducing congestion across the city.
We’re doing everything we can to strengthen this vibrant region and moving these 1,800 jobs will cement Parramatta’s position as Sydney’s second CBD. The first Education Department staff will be moving in 2018 and all staff will be settled into their new offices by mid-2020.
Finally, the Korea Development Bank (KDB) opened its first Australian office in Sydney in a great endorsement to our city’s standing as Australia’s financial centre.
The Vice Chairman of the KDB, Heui-Kyoung Ryu, was in town for the opening and it was great to hear him say he believes Sydney is Australia’s financial capital and the best city for the bank to be located.
The KDB is Korea’s representative state-run financial institution and will provide financial advisory services to Korean companies looking to invest in Sydney.
It’s great to hear the bank’s Sydney office will focus on infrastructure construction projects and is interested in opportunities coming out of the Global Infrastructure Hub that has been announced and established in Sydney in the past year.