The Sydney Metro City and Southwest has impacted local residents over many years with compulsory home and substratum acquisitions as well as changes to the heavy rail system which will mean that the Metro line will replace heavy rail services on the Sydenham to Bankstown line by 2024.
Sydney Metro City and Southwest will extend from the end of Sydney Metro Northwest at Chatswood and run under Sydney Harbour, through new CBD stations and south west to Bankstown. It is a massive transport project which has been partially privatised with the NSW Government's Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill 2018 which was opposed by the Greens. You can read Jenny's speech here which calls out the privatisation of public transport and the closures of heavy rail corridors between Bankstown and Parramatta.
The bill established the Sydney Metro corporation as a corporation and a New South Wales Government agency under the Transport Administration Act. While this bill allows the Sydney Metro to be owned by the New South Wales Government and be part of the Government's transport cluster, it gives much broader powers to Sydney Metro, especially in relation to land acquisitions and residential and commercial developments. Our office advocated for local residents in the Newtown Electorate who found themselves unable to sell or take new loans on their properties for long periods due to the government's compulsory substratum acquisitions and bureaucratic delays.
Artist impression of Waterloo Metro Quarter
We've seen massive commercial and housing development proposals above some of the Metro stations on lands which were compulsorily acquired at rates which were under the market rates. These developments will have little or no affordable and/or social housing and community infrastructure such as schools and sporting facilities yet they will bring many thousands more residents into communities where the infrastructure is already inadequate.
In Waterloo where the Waterloo Metro Quarter development has been approved there will be three towers —a 17-storey office building, 24-storey apartment building and a 25-storey student accommodation building (which means that the accommodation in this building will not be subject to affordable housing percentages) as well as commercial and plaza space below with the new Metro station stop. Even though this development is right above a Metro station, there will be huge parking for tenants which will cause further traffic congestion in this densely populated area. This new precinct will cover the area bounded by Botany Road, Cope Street, Raglan Street and Wellington Street in Waterloo and yet it will not even have a community centre - which was planned but revised into a privatised childcare centre. More information here and here.
The Greens do not support the privatisation of public transport, lands and airspace such as is occurring in relation to Metro stations and believe that public transport must be publicly owned and managed, and that any Metro housing and commercial developments must include significant numbers of affordable and social housing as well as adequate community infrastructure.
Over the last five years we've seen a reduction in the quality and quantity of bus services in the Inner West with the removal of bus stops and bus shelters and the privatisation of bus services.
Back in 2017, Jenny advocated for the maintenance of bus stops in Stanmore and in Newtown and surrounding suburbs as stops were being 'rationalised' making the distance longer between stops. As we said at the time, public transport should be accessible for everyone and particularly the elderly and parents and those with disabilities who are the ones who are impacted most by a lack of bus stops.
In 2018 Jenny Leong MP,Member for Newtown and Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain jointly called for the Liberal Coalition government to reverse its decision to privatise bus services in the Inner West. And again in 2020 Jenny called for a stop to the ongoing privatisation in a speech in the NSW Parliament.
Public transport needs to be a convenient, safe and accessible option for all users. Not only because it is a sustainable transport option that reduces dangerous carbon emissions, but also because increased use of public transport will ease congestion on our overcrowded roads.
Additionally, we believe that all bus stops should be covered and have seats - which is so important not just for older people but also crucial to protect passengers from the heat and weather when using public transport. We advocated for local commuters when the City of Sydney renewed its contract for bus shelters at the end of 2021 which meant that many bus shelters simply disappeared overnight and were not replaced for many months. This situation comes about because of privatisation - public transport should be kept in public ownership.
The Greens are committed to seeing more investment in public transport. You can read more here.
After years of advocating alongside locals for station upgrades and improved accessibility at our local train stations, we're excited to see that some major works have taken place!
Our Inner West train stations are now well on their way to becoming more accessible, safe, and user-friendly, and better servicing the needs of our community.
For local resident Chris, the new lifts and ramps at Petersham station have "opened up my world."Read more
We have long known that Erko Station needs a lift. And local residents and the Friends of Erskineville are also keen to see a second entrance to the station at the southern end. It was great to able to meet up with some folks last week to talk through the options and receive their petition.Read more
The Greens support the proposed strike action by members of the RTBU on behalf of bus drivers' call for safe working conditions and an end to the privatisation of bus services.
Jenny spoke in Nov 2017 on behalf of the NSW Greens on the 10,000-signature petition opposing the privatisation of Inner West bus services.
Jenny and the Member for Balmain, Jamie Parker MP joined community and union members condemning this privatisation.
This week, Greens NSW Transport spokesperson, Abigail Boyd MLC and Greens NSW spokesperson on Workers Rights David Shoebridge MLC, released the following statement regarding the current demands and proposed strike of members of the RTBU:
"The Greens stand strongly in support of this action. Bus drivers are striking because their jobs and wellbeing are under attack from the NSW Liberal Government.
"In the middle of a pandemic, we should be supporting our essential workers, not throwing them under the bus.Read more
Greens Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP has spoken out against the Liberal governments plan to privatise more public bus services.
Greens Member for Newtown, Jenny Leong MP has spoken out against the Liberal governments plan to privatise more public bus services.Read more
Unlike domestic students in NSW, international students are not eligible for travel concessions.
In 2006, this was determined to be racial discrimination, but still today the practice continues.
For decades students, student organisations, universities and community groups have been campaigning for international students to be able to have equal access to travel concessions as their local counterparts.
Now is the time for us to finally fix this - and end this discrimination in our laws.
Urge the Premier to support the Bill to grant international students travel concessions - SIGN THE PETITION HERE.Read more
Jenny Leong MP, Greens Member for Newtown and spokesperson for Multiculturalism today gave notice of a Private Member’s Bill in the NSW Legislative Assembly to support international students by giving them concessions on public transport.Read more
The Newtown electorate has received key funding in the 2019-2020 state budget to progress crucial accessibility station upgrades, according to Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown
“As a Greens MP I know that the best way to get outcomes for our local community is to work closely with residents and advocate strongly for our community to the Government – we are pleased to see that this approach has worked when it comes to delivering accessibility infrastructure for our train stations in the Newtown electorate.
“We knew that Redfern station was a high priority for accessibility upgrades thanks to years of strong campaigning from the community. We are pleased to see these upgrades confirmed in the budget following the earlier announcement, and we are in consultation with Government to ensure that all platforms at Redfern station are made accessible.Read more
Jenny Leong MP, Greens Member for Newtown has asked the Minister for Transport to expand planned upgrades for Redfern Station to include lifts for platforms 11 and 12 to make it fully accessible.Read more