Apr 26, 2017

Labor unveils plans for rail link to Western Sydney Airport

A Shorten Labor Government will super charge jobs growth in Western Sydney by linking the new Western Sydney Airport with Sydney’s rail network from the first day it opens.

A rail connection from day one is critical if we are make the airport a catalyst for job creation for Western Sydney – and will boost economic growth by up to $3.6 billion annually.

That’s why Labor will provide $400 million to work with the NSW Government to get these works underway as soon as possible, contingent on a positive assessment from Infrastructure Australia.

Overall, the project will create more than 43,000 direct jobs and support up to 98,000 jobs indirectly in Western Sydney.

It will:

  • Extend Sydney’s South-West Rail link from Leppington via Bringelly to the new airport;
  • Build a new outer orbital train line from Macarthur in the south to St Marys in the north, which would also service the airport.

A second stage of the project will complete Sydney’s outer orbital rail link with construction of a new line connecting St Marys to the Sydney Metro Northwest at Rouse Hill, scheduled to open in 2019.

Without vital investments linking the new Western Sydney airport to Sydney’s rail network, it will be harder for passengers to use the new airport.

Proper public transport is critical to the success of the new airport and the Western Sydney economy.  However, it is clear new services would be necessary even without the new Western Sydney Airport.

Already home to two million people – more residents than Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Darwin combined – Western Sydney is the country’s third largest economy.  In the next two decades the region’s population is expected to grow by a further one million, with more than 300,000 new homes expected to be constructed.

If planned and developed properly, the airport and surrounding business areas will attract investment that will generate thousands of jobs in aviation-related industries as well as tourism, education, advanced manufacturing, logistics and residential development.

Labor will ensure at least 10 per cent of all workers on the construction of the project and associated infrastructure are apprentices and a significant proportion of the total workforce is drawn from Western Sydney.

The new north-south rail link will transform Western Sydney’s overall transport system, which is plagued by congestion and poor connectivity.

Under existing arrangements, railway lines connect parts of Western Sydney to the Sydney CBD, but there is no north-south link to allow people and goods to move more efficiently within the Western Sydney region itself.

Independent analysis from Deloitte and Arup states:

“The economic benefits of the north-south corridor are clear.  From 2024 to 2040, north south rail will add $44.7 billion in benefits to the economy, reaching $3.6 billion per year in 2040.”

This problem is acting as a hand brake on economic development on a region that is crying out for productivity-enhancing investment in infrastructure.

Governments must recognise Western Sydney’s potential by investing in the infrastructure required to lift productivity and accelerate growth, including better connections between its various communities.

This should be a bipartisan commitment. Labor calls upon the Turnbull Government to stop ignoring Western Sydney and make a firm commitment to connecting the new Western Sydney Airport to the rail network.

A map detailing the projects to be funded by Labor is below.  A fact sheet on today’s announcement is available here.