Full Steam Ahead for Light Rail Along Olympic Corridor

The WestLine Partnership has welcomed the State Government’s decision to establish a light rail connection through the Olympic Corridor, as part of the Western Sydney Light Rail Network, which is expected to create massive economic, social and urban renewal opportunities.

The WestLine Partnership, established in late 2014 with the aim of helping fast-track the delivery of a light rail route along Sydney’s Olympic Corridor, comprises some of Sydney’s leaders in business, government, sport and property, and believes that this ‘missing link’ will not only improve accessibility, but importantly, support and drive future employment and residential growth.

The Olympic Corridor begins at Westmead and connects the Greater Parramatta area with Rosehill, Camellia, Olympic Park and Strathfield.

WestLine Partnership Convenor, and Chair of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, Christopher Brown AM, praised the State Government for its forward-thinking approach to infrastructure investment and said its decision would catalyse the development of one of the most significant precincts in the country.

“On behalf of the WestLine Partnership, I’d like to thank all of our partners and stakeholders who have played a key role in raising awareness and support for this transformational piece of infrastructure,” Mr Brown said.

“We are proud that the Olympic Corridor light rail project will be used as the test case for how future infrastructure projects will be managed and funded, using a value-capture model, where those that benefit from its development, will also help to reduce the cost to the wider public.

“The NSW Government, and in particular Transport Minister Andrew Constance, should be commended for embracing innovative and inclusive methods of infrastructure funding and for providing a project model that will ultimately deliver a complete, and considered, light rail network in a shorter period and potentially cheaper cost to tax-payers.

“The Olympic Corridor has been an often over-looked region when it comes to transport infrastructure, but all of that is now set to change. Over the next 20 years, with the Government on board, you can expect this precinct to house more than one third of all new jobs and almost 20 per cent of new dwellings.

Mr Brown said a Deloitte report commissioned by the WestLine Partnership, and prepared with the assistance of leading urban planner Rod Simpson, in February, revealed that there was capacity for developers in the Olympic Corridor to present government with over $1 billion in voluntary levies to help pay for the light rail and environmental remediation of old industrial wasteland.

“This decision by Government shows that it is serious about working with the private sector and landowners to fund public infrastructure and this light rail network will provide a test-case for future projects, such as the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek,” Mr Brown said.

“Potential funds raised could also help repair the environmental damage to the Camellia Peninsula and adjacent Parramatta River that stems from 100-plus years of intensive industrial operations and pollution.

“To ensure the light rail project, and other transport and planning initiatives such as WestConnex, Camellia, Sydney Olympic Park and the renewal of Parramatta Road, align with a broader Sydney strategy, a clear governance framework is also required to ensure planning for the Olympic Corridor is integrated and strategic.”

Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer Darren Pearce said the new light rail project would place Rosehill Gardens - a world-class thoroughbred racing venue - at the centre of a new premium lifestyle and entertainment precinct.

"Light rail is the trigger for the necessary rezoning and planning consents that will pave the way for unprecedented development around Rosehill Gardens racecourse and the Camellia Peninsula, all in the heart of the economic powerhouse that is Western Sydney," Mr Pearce said.

"Rosehill Gardens is our premier racing track in Western Sydney and we have major plans to grow it.

"The ATC has a masterplan that will involve multiple precincts comprising entertainment, lifestyle and leisure, and multi-storey commercial and residential spaces.

WestLine Partnership member and Managing Director of ANZ Stadium, Daryl Kerry, said the NSW Government’s light rail announcement was a boon for sports and entertainment fans who would soon be able to better access Sydney’s major events.

“A light rail connection through the Olympic Corridor will be of great benefit to the 1.6 million-plus fans who visit ANZ Stadium each year and further enhance Sydney Olympic Park’s event-hosting capability, he said.

Mr Kerry, who is also President of the Sydney Olympic Park Business Association, added: “The light rail connection will also help drive what is already one of the fastest growing commercial and residential precincts in the country.”

Jason Little, GM Goodman Australia, one of the Corridor’s major landowners, described the decision as a win for Western Sydney and for the way the industry engages with Government.

“Landowners, the private sector and other stakeholders have shown that they’re willing to continue to work with Government to offset the cost of public infrastructure and deliver sustainable community outcomes.”

WestLine Partnership Members: ANZ Stadium, Australian Turf Club, Billbergia, Dexus, Goodman, GPT Group, NRMA, Payce Consolidated, Accor, Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, SMEC, Sekisui House, Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Sydney Olympic Park Business Association, Sydney Business Chamber, City of Canada Bay, Auburn City Council, Strathfield Council.

Supporters: AECOM, GJS, FDC, Western Sydney University, Graf International, McCollough Robertson

 

What a light rail line along the Olympic Corridor can deliver:

- More potential jobs and new dwellings than the Barangaroo, Bays Precinct, Green Square and Central to Eveleigh projects combined.

- Almost 20% of required infill and a third of all new jobs in Western Sydney by 2036.

- The capacity to move 5000 passengers per hour in both directions through the Corridor. The equivalent to 40 light rail services in place of 200 buses.

- Halve the current travel time between Parramatta and Sydney Olympic Park.

- Significant and sustainable ‘smart jobs of the future’ to Western Sydney and attract global investment to the region.

 

For media information: Adam Leto, Communications Advisor, Taylor Street Advisory 0419 019 637