Submission to the South West Rail Link Extension Public Transport Corridor Protection
MACROC understands that Transport for NSW is striving to plan for the strong population growth that will occur in Western Sydney and to ensure that critical integrated public transport services will be delivered in line with growing community needs.
Extending the South West Rail Link makes good planning sense. It will connect future populations in the Macarthur region and connect employment hubs in Western Sydney. However, to optimise sustainable economic and community outcomes for the Macarthur region and in accordance with the Minister’s Message discussed above, MACROC recommends that serious consideration needs to be given to an extension of the South West Rail Link from Narellan to Campbelltown Macarthur.
This would connect future populations in the Macarthur region and connect the employment hubs in Western Sydney with each other and with centres of future population growth. This issue is discussed in more detail later in this submission.
To ensure the success of this large scale infrastructure project there needs to be true collaboration and coordination between Federal and State Governments, relevant State Government agencies and Local Government. It is essential that Local Government is involved in such a significant infrastructure program and MACROC would suggest that a regional coordination group be established that includes the Councils affected, key State Government authorities such as RMS, Transport for NSW, Department of Planning and Environment, as well as the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
Impact on Planning in South West Growth Centre
Planning for the South West Rail Link needs to take into account the emerging centres of Oran Park and Narellan. It is important that the future rail stations are integrated within the town centre areas.
Precinct Planning with the South West Growth Centre will also be affected, so the issue of the timing in delivery of the South West Rail Link Extension is critical to the impact on development, particularly for pre-empting re-zonings. As part of a concept plan for delivery of the Extension a strategy will be required to determine how the orderly rate of development can be managed to minimise any adverse urban planning outcomes.
A key issue for Camden is the need for Transport for NSW and the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to re-visit the South West Growth Centre Structure Plan, with a revised focus on integrated land use planning and transit oriented development.
Rail Connection between Narellan and Campbelltown
The map of the planned corridors for the South West Rail Link Extension ends at Narellan and the planned corridors draw the population of the South West away from Campbelltown/Macarthur to the north and north east (St Marys, Penrith, Liverpool and Parramatta).
This is a serious planning oversight considering the significant public and private investment in key regional facilities being made in Campbelltown/Macarthur that will service the population of the South West Growth Centre. These key regional facilities include Campbelltown Public and Private Hospitals, the University of Western Sydney, The South West Sydney Institute of TAFE, a significantly expanded Macarthur Square Regional Shopping Centre and the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan.
Campbelltown/Macarthur is developing naturally into a regional city centre for the South West, with potential to be the emerging hub of investment in economic development and higher order employment. To ignore a rail link between Narellan and Campbelltown would be a missed opportunity to achieve a fully integrated rail network and to stimulate significant economic and employment development in the Macarthur region.
The functional east/west connections between the centres of Camden/Narellan and Campbelltown/Macarthur continue to be a pressing infrastructure issue in the Macarthur region. The NSW Government has committed to upgrading Narellan Road, however investigation into the broader regional transport network, for example Spring Farm Park Way, remain a challenge. The opportunity of connecting the South West Rail Link Extension to the Main South Line must be incorporated into current infrastructure planning. Existing rail infrastructure at Glenlee may provide an opportunity to facilitate connection, although other options for a corridor route need to be examined in consultation with Camden and Campbelltown City Councils. This extension to Campbelltown/Macarthur would also facilitate potential for the establishment of a new station (s) to service the Australian Garden at Mount Annan, providing for an important link to the new airport for the benefit of tourists.
Campbelltown and Wollondilly’s residents are entitled to a rail connection to Badgery’s Creek as well as the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area (the latter a point raised in previous MACROC submissions to Government). This includes existing and future populations.
The proximity to the employment opportunities offered by the airport and the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area will also mean that there will be significant changes in the travel to work patterns in Wollondilly Shire which will impact on local infrastructure in Wollondilly, particularly Silverdale Road, Werombi Road and Cobbitty Road.
Outer Sydney Orbital (M9)
Planning for the Outer Sydney Orbital has been announced and a Steering Committee, of which MACROC and WSROC are members, has been established. However the South West Rail Link Extension does not factor in the considerable impact that this major piece of infrastructure will have on the Macarthur region and the interaction it will have on link roads. Transport for NSW needs to consider how the rail extension will relate to a multi-modal corridor for the outer Sydney Orbital and investigate options for interim use of the South West Rail Link Extension corridor.
Key Stakeholder Consultation and Community Engagement
Transport for NSW is currently engaged in consultation around the South West Rail Link Extension Corridor Protection project. MACROC understands that this is stage one of a two stage process and that the second stage will occur later in 2014. Given the significance and wide ranging implications of the project MACROC would suggest that advanced consultation with key stakeholders such as Councils would be a more rational approach before engaging in general community consultation. This would mean that key stakeholders would have a comprehensive response in advance of the release of the preferred rail corridor alignment options. Such an approach would enable Councils to prepare for meaningful and better informed engagement with their communities.
In their individual submissions the MACROC Councils have identified in detail the particular issues in the South West Rail Link Extension Public Transport Corridor Protection document that concern their LGA. This regional submission should be read in conjunction with the more comprehensive comments made by our Member Councils.
File: MACROC Submission to the South West Rail Link Extension Public Transport Corridor Protection
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