Infrastructure: Sydney Metro moves a step closer after Parliament passes legislation for electricity assets lease.

THE NSW Government last week said that Sydney’s much-needed second harbour rail crossing will become a reality now that funding has been secured for the NSW Government’s $20 billion Rebuilding NSW plan.

It follows the successful passage through Parliament of the Electricity Network Assets (Authorised Transactions) Bill 2015 and the Electricity Retained Interest Corporations Bill 2015, which enable the government to proceed with the lease of 49 per cent of the electricity network and deliver on its election mandate to invest $20 billion in new infrastructure.

In a statement, Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the Sydney Metro project will be a new 66 kilometre high capacity rail line that will reduce congestion and revolutionise public transport in the city

“Sydney Metro will be the new backbone of our public transport network; it’s critical to boosting capacity and ‘turn up and go’ services will make travel easier than ever before,” Mr Baird said.

Sydney Metro has two core components:

  • Sydney Metro Northwest – comprising the 36-kilometre North West Rail Link, which is due to open in the first half of 2019 with a train every four minutes in the peak.
  • Sydney Metro City & Southwest – the new 30-kilometre metro line from the end of Sydney Metro Northwest, under Sydney Harbour through the CBD and west to Bankstown.

“Together with upgrades to the Western Line, Sydney Metro will help deliver a 60 per cent capacity increase across the entire network, or move an extra 100,000 people per hour across the city,” Mr Constance said.

“This is a mega congestion busting project and it’s already well underway, with tunnelling almost halfway complete on Sydney Metro Northwest.”

Community consultation has already begun, with Transport for NSW seeking feedback on its proposal. An industry briefing will take place later this month to provide details about how the NSW Government will deliver Sydney Metro.

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) said the passing of legislation for the $20 billion lease of the state’s electricity transmission and distribution network assets will help bring NSW’s infrastructure into the twenty-first century.

“Premier Mike Baird and his cabinet will be remembered for driving real change, on their watch, rather than kicking the can down the road,” said IPA Chief Executive Brendan Lyon.

“The passage of the poles and wires legislation, and the award of the M4 East contract and return of Sydney Metro show exactly why NSW was right to disregard the union fear campaign.

“The M4 East begins the long task of completing Sydney’s road network will cut up to 35 minutes off journey times for Western Sydney commuters.

“But the windfall from poles and wires also lets us do ‘breakthrough’ projects, like rolling out metro technology across Sydney’s suburban railway network.”

Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 08 June, 2015

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