A new alliance between western Sydney businesses, landowners and councils has been formed to lobby for a North-South passenger rail network.
The Western Sydney Rail Alliance (WSRA) has been established as a collaboration between Penrith, Camden, Liverpool and Campbelltown councils, as well as businesses and major private sector landowners Celestino, Ingham Property Group, University of Sydney, Sydney Business Park, Greenfields Development Company, Medich Corporation and Twin Creeks Golf & Country Club.
Penrith Mayor John Thain said a North-South passenger rail network would boost the state’s economy, create local jobs and increase housing availability and affordability in Australia’s most important economic zone.
“Together with the WSRA, Penrith Council is committed to securing the single most transformative piece of infrastructure for the region - a North-South passenger rail network,” Cr Thain said.
It is estimated that by 2056 Western Sydney will be home to more than 4 million people, most of whom will be living west of Parramatta than east of it, a council statement said.
“Penrith residents are calling out for North-South rail to improve connectivity in their local communities. Connecting the north and south via a rail link will open up Penrith to new jobs and more housing, easing congestion on our roads and cutting travel time,” Cr Thain said.
“Penrith council, alongside the WSRA, is calling on both sides of politics from the state and federal governments to recognise the needs of our local communities and commit to a North-South rail link.
“To ensure the opportunities provided by Western Sydney Airport are fully realised, it’s essential that a North-South rail link is up and running from day one of airport operations.”
WSRA spokesperson John Vassallo said the North-South rail line would benefit all of western Sydney.
“With the Western Sydney Airport as the hub, we have the opportunity to link the four key growth centres of Penrith, Liverpool, Campbelltown and Camden with a modern rail system that will fundamentally transform the region,” Mr Vassallo said.
Figures released by WSRA show that a North-South passenger rail network could add more than 350,000 new homes in close proximity to rail and almost 120,000 new jobs to the region.
“A North-South rail link will fast track this smart growth and deliver immense benefit to the communities surrounding the new Western Sydney Airport,” Mr Vassallo said.
The proposed North-South rail line runs from Rouse Hill in the north to Campbelltown-Macarthur in the south, via Western Sydney Airport and with Liverpool connected via an extension of the Leppington line.