A couple of updates on my last post:
First, a letter from Sandy Thomas (another member of the Sydney Morning Herald Public Transport Inquiry that reported last year) published in today’s Herald offers another and probably more achievable scenario on how the North West Rail Link (NWRL) can be built without loss of face by either Federal or State Governments.
He points out that the former State Government submitted a detailed proposal to Infrastructure Australia (IA) for funding for the NWRL. The letter notes that despite this, the funding for the Parramatta-Epping Rail Link was subsequently offered by the Federal Government from another non-IA pool. In summary, Thomas proposes that the previous State Government’s NWRL application for IA funding be revived and properly examined by IA as a basis for funding the North West line.
Second, it has been suggested that a “number eight” for my list should be full retention of the old Kings School site in Parramatta in public hands.
One of the last actions of the Keneally government was to announce that the bulk of the site would be retained and redeveloped as an arts and cultural precinct, with the sale of a small section to the Catholic Church providing some funding. It would appear that the Church still harbours some desire to obtain the whole site and the new government has not yet indicated whether it will continue to support the precinct proposal.
I strongly support this cause, but the “top seven” actions I listed in my last post were mainly to do with public transport infrastructure and strategic planning. However, reassuring the Western Sydney community that the Kings School site will be retained and developed as planned by the previous government (and not sold to fill some budgetary “black hole”) is something Mr O’Farrell could do easily in his first 100 days.
If I prepare a similar “top seven” for Western Sydney, developing the Kings School as an arts and cultural precinct in public hands will certainly be on my list!