But no funding for rail – even a rail corridor for future development
The Australian Federal Government in partnership with the New South Wales State Government has announced the construction of a second international airport to the west of Sydney CBD. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Tony Abbott confirms billions in road funding to support second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced $2.9 billion in new roads spending over the next eight years to support the construction of a new airport at Badgerys Creek, with NSW pitching in 20 per cent of the cost.
The announcement follows from Mr Abbott confirming yesterday that the Coalition cabinet had signed off on building the much-debated airport at the site 50 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD.
Construction of the airport is expected to begin in 2016 and will spur the creation of up to 4000 construction jobs at its peak.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell was expected to appear with Mr Abbott, but pulled out and then announced he was resigning as premier over revelations at the Independent Commission against Corruption.
I have noted the ICAC investigation which has claimed the scalp of the now former NSW Premier but we will leave it at that and look at this new airport on its way.
The new airport is to be located at Badgerys Creek which is to the west of Sydney CBD. Here is a map of the location of the airport in comparison to Sydney:
Note the extensive roads and highways near the new airport location that will funnel towards Sydney’s CBD in the east. Also note from the above that the Federal Government is about to sink A$2.9 billion into upgrading the roads/motorways to “assist” traffic flow between the new airport and the CBD. So what about public transport? Well we have this:
Mr Abbott told a media conference at Liverpool Council on Wednesday that the funding was an ‘growth package’ for western Sydney.
The plan includes several major Sydney road upgrades, including expansion of The Northern Road to four lanes from Narellan Road to the M4.
The Prime Minister said Elizabeth Drive from the M7 to the Northern Road would be upgraded to “a very high standard” and there would also be an urgent overhaul of Bringelly Road to increase the thoroughfare to four lanes from Camden Valley Way to the Northern Road.
Mr Abbott said the NSW government would also immediately move to secure the rail corridor from the south-west rail link to Penrith, but Wednesday’s announcement included no funding details for such a proposal.
“These are vital pieces of road infrastructure and what they mean is that the announcement yesterday is not just an announcement about an airport, it is an announcement about jobs and infrastructure for western Sydney,” Mr Abbott said.
“This is a jobs and infrastructure package.
“There will be 4000 jobs in the short-term on road construction and over time, thanks to the development associated with the new airport, we believe there will be at least 60,000 more jobs in western Sydney.”
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the government was attracted to the idea of including a rail link in the airport’s design, but signalled that Badgerys Creek could open without a completed rail station.
Seems the Federal Government has an aversion to rail like our National Government back here in NZ. The Federal and possibly State Government of NSW by the looks of it are not even funding designations to secure a rail corridor from the new airport to the existing heavy rail network that runs through Sydney extensively. If the airport was being built as a solo project I can see why no construction of a rail line to the airport just yet. But not securing the corridor for the future seems daft. However, as the airport seems to be part of a wider development project across Sydney’s west, not developing the rail system immediately (and being ahead in transport infrastructure for once) seems that the Federal Government is uncoordinated in the planning for Sydney’s west.
Also the Australian Deputy Prime Minister remarking about Melbourne not having a rail line to it yet seems a bit off when as I understand it Melbourne is trying to get a rail line in but is again meeting resistance from their Liberal State Government as well as the Federal Government.
As for the question on when we via Air NZ flights might be using the second airport rather than Sydney’s main? Not sure as but most likely not for at least a decade or two away.