Bureaucratic delays from Sydney Trains that have already held up the completion of the Inner West Greenway project by at least a year are now putting the entire project in jeopardy.
The Greenway is a nearly six kilometre environmental and active transport route, running along the Inner West light rail line and linking the Cooks River with Iron Cove.
The long awaited project is being funded jointly by the Inner West Council and the NSW Government and requires consent from Sydney Trains for construction to commence.
For more than a year Sydney Trains have delayed giving consent to the project, despite it being substantially funded by the NSW Government and being a priority project of the Greater Sydney Commission.
Despite all necessary development applications having been lodged by Inner West Council in August 2018, they cannot be approved until Sydney Trains gives approval for the proposed works on their land.
This bureaucratic madness is now endangering the whole project.
Other State Government agencies are set to withdraw funding and construction timelines will blow out by more than 12 months if approval is not granted in the very near future.
Environmental conditions requiring protection of a micro-bat colony necessitate tunnelling to take place in a 3 month window at the end of 2019. This deadline will also not be met if approval is not granted and the tender process begun by the end of March.
Comments by Anthony Albanese:
Having fought so hard over many years to deliver funding for the Greenway it would be a tragedy for the Inner West to see the project fall over now because of bureaucratic inertia.
Linking active transport through walking and cycling to our public transport systems is a key part of sustainable urban design.
We understand that here in the Inner West our open, green spaces are precious and deserve investment.
Comments by Darcy Byrne:
Sydney trains are supposed to be collaborating with us, but instead they are stalling at every turn.
After more than a year of ridiculous red tape and bureaucratic delays, we can’t allow the whole Greenway project to be derailed by Sydney Trains.
Comments by Jo Haylen:
In the same week that NSW Labor announces $412 million for active transport including $4.5 million for the Greenway, Sydney Trains is threatening to hold the whole thing up with a bureaucratic bungle.
The Minister for Transport needs to intervene now to save the Greenway.