Western Sydney Light Rail gets the green light, new CBD development announced

16 May 2012

Parramatta Lord Mayor, Cr Lorraine Wearne has announced that a feasibility study into the Western Sydney Light Rail Network will commence early next month, after Parramatta City Council committed to fund the first stage of the proposal.

Speaking at today’s Parramatta Economic Development Forum, at the Sydney Opera House, Cr Wearne said that although transport issues were usually the responsibility of the State and Federal Governments, on this occasion, Council decided it had to take a lead role for the region.

“There’s always plenty of talk about transport matters – whether it’s the congestion on Parramatta or Victoria roads – or lack of efficiency and service – on our public transport networks, but unfortunately there’s not enough action,” Cr Wearne said.

“We want to change this. This is a project that Council believes in, and we feel, will go a long way towards relieving congestion, providing strong regional connections across Western Sydney and will also integrate with existing transport infrastructure such as heavy rail.”

Council has committed up to $1m towards a number of initiatives to realise the light rail project including a feasibility study, with the successful tender expected to be selected by Council in July.

Cr Wearne said the Western Sydney Light Rail proposal had already received widespread support from Federal Infrastructure & Transport, Transport for NSW, Sydney Metropolitan Development Authority, Infrastructure NSW, City of Sydney, The University of Western Sydney, along with WSROC, neighbouring councils and State and Federal MPs.

The Western Sydney Light Rail Network is planned to be segregated from the existing road and train networks, with virtually no sharing of road space.

The proposal would improve access to employment in Westmead, Parramatta city centre, Macquarie Park and have links to the University of Western Sydney and Macquarie University.

It also aims to improve regional connections across Western Sydney, including Castle Hill, Bankstown, Liverpool, Blacktown and Sydney Olympic Park.

“We’ve made a commitment to get this proposal up and running, and we’ll be calling on our Federal and State leaders to also get behind it and help provide solutions and the funds that will support the future growth of our City and our region,” Cr Wearne said.

CBD DEVELOPMENT

Cr Wearne also announced at the Parramatta Economic Development Forum, the new City development, in the heart of the CBD, which includes construction of the highest residential tower in Parramatta and 25,000sqm of commercial space.

“Stage One will include a commercial development on the corner of Smith and Macquarie Streets and is of similar size to the newly constructed Eclipse building, providing much needed A-grade office space for the City,” she said.  

“Stage Two on the corner of Darcy and Church Streets could accommodate residential and hospitality uses and once complete, is expected to be the tallest building in the City.

“One of the great benefits of packaging the project this way, is that because they have different uses, both stages could be developed simultaneously.”

Cr Wearne said that Council will conduct a Design Competition for the two stages and then submit a development application, based on the winning designs - expected to be announced in July 2012.

“This project will build even more trust in the Parramatta office market and we’ll also be preparing a re-branding strategy for the development, which will be submitted with our DA, within the next couple of months,” she said.

Parramatta Economic Development Forum

Parramatta City Council’s second economic development forum, ‘Re-thinking Sydney’ is being held outside of Parramatta for the first time and will feature panel and keynote discussion by:

  • The Hon. Mike Baird: NSW Treasurer
  • CEO Infrastructure NSW, Paul Broad
  • Director General Transport NSW, Les Wielinga
  • Michael Clarke, Partner, Deloitte
  • CEO Destination NSW, Sandra Chipchase
  • Mike Mrdak, Secretary Department of Infrastructure and Transport
  • General Manager, Penrith Panthers, Phil Gould
  • Chancellor, University of Western Sydney, Professor Peter Shergold
  • Managing Director of Nationwide News, Michael Miller

Full Agenda and Program: www.parracity.nsw.gov.au/forum2012

Watch the forum live on Council’s website www.parracity.nsw.gov.au and follow #rethinksydney to join the conversation on Twitter.

Media is encouraged to register their attendance prior to the event.

Re-Thinking Sydney

2nd Parramatta Economic Development Forum

16 May 2012, Sydney Opera House

9am-3:30pm