In late November last year, just before I left for Perth and then Paris, the Sydney Morning Herald published my opinion piece on Sydney’s current transport infrastructure saga.
The title the paper chose was: Three times denied: western Sydney misses out on transport, again – which pretty much summed up my core argument which was how Western Sydney continually misses out on new public transport inftrastructure despite its current and projected population growth. I made the point that whilst it was understandable that some of the schemes proposed by Bradfield for additional suburban railways were never built at the time, the failure to provide public transport to outer urban areas became less and less forgivable as the population expanded well beyond the harbour-focussed city of the 1930s.
I argued that in light of this neglect and the fact that Sydney’s population centre was now located near Ermington, the State Government’s current policy of prioritising inner-city metros and cancelling outer-suburban rail expansion was completely inappropriate. I pointed out that if the CBD metro goes ahead, more than $8 billion will have been allocated in less than two decades for new public transport projects in eastern Sydney ,which is eight times more than the amount allocated to Western Sydney projects.
After I submitted the article for publication (and just before it was actually published), the State Government has announced that construction will commence on the South West Rail Link after all. This does not however diminish the central points of my argument which are that Western Sydney is still not receiving its fair share of resources and that building the rest of the region’s transport infrastructure (for example the North West Rail Link and the Parramatta to Epping Link) should still receive priority over inner-city metros.
I’m pleased that my article, which can be found on the SMH website here, received a mostly-positive response judging from the feedback on the website and the comments made to me personally – and it will be interesting to see what happens after the State Government reviews its transport priorities and metro proposals yet again.