Sydney Metro and Waterloo Metro Quarter - privatising rail and airspace
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.
The latest on accessibility upgrades at our local stations
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
Erko station needs a lift!
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
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
NSW Greens introduce Bill to end travel concessions discrimination
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
Media Release: Budget delivers accessible train station upgrades
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 asks Transport Minister for full accessibility at Redfern Station
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
NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the light rail - update
The NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the CBD and South East Light Rail Project, it has made some strong recommendations in its recently released Report.
The significant financial and health impacts of this project have been recognised and recommendations have been made in relation to property damage and compensation as well as a call for Transport for NSW to provide ongoing mental health support.
One of the big issues that our office has lobbied for on behalf of local residents - the need for an additional stop at Wimbo Park - has been taken up by the committee with a recommendation that Transport for NSW favourably review the need for a stop there.
The Report also recognised there were significant problems with major infrastructure being built as a Public Private Partnership and recommended that the government formally request that the Auditor-General undertake a review into the effectiveness of such contracts for state significant infrastructure projects.
It's time to put an end to major public infrastructure projects being privatised in either construction or operation.Read more