THE New South Wales Budget for 2013-14 includes an investment of $6.4 billion for the 'big six' public transport infrastructure projects, including the North West Rail Link, the South West Rail Link and the CBD and South East Light Rail project, according to the NSW Government.
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said the massive amount of capital investment showed the NSW Government was committed to building infrastructure that will make a real difference to commuters by addressing Sydney's public transport challenges.
Over four years, the NSW Budget 2013-14 allocates:
- $4 billion for construction of the 36-kilometre North West Rail Link, due for completion in late 2019;
- $782 million for the 11.4-kilometre South West Rail Link between Glenfield and Leppington, due for completion in 2016;
- $423 million for the 12-kilometre CBD and South East Light Rail project;
- $885 million for the Northern Sydney Freight Corridor, which is being jointly funded by the Australian and NSW governments;
- $224 million for the Wynyard Walk pedestrian link between Wynyard Station and Barangaroo; and
- $76 million for the 5.6-kilometre Inner West Light Rail Extension from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill with nine new stops, due to open next year.
"This is a Government that is committed to investing in desperately-needed transport infrastructure in this city and the financial commitment we are making shows that we are serious about building for the future," Mr O'Farrell said.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW Government was committed to providing service improvements to go with the infrastructure investment.
"Under the NSW Liberals & Nationals the people of NSW have a Government in place with a real plan to fix public transport – through new modern infrastructure, more and better services and by getting our transport providers to focus on the needs of the customer," Ms Berejiklian said.
The government also announced that the North West Rail Link is due to open by the end of 2019 and expected cost $8.3 billion, which covers the entire cost of building the rail link including the three major contracts, property acquisition required for the project, the early construction work currently taking place, planning approvals and the initial design and engineering work.
"We originally estimated the project would cost between $7.5 billion and $8.5 billion plus rolling stock – and as we've moved down the contract path we can confirm the project cost will be $8.3 billion including Sydney's new generation of single deck trains," Ms Berejiklian said.
"Over the next year, the NSW Government's massive infrastructure investment on the North West Rail Link includes awarding the tunnelling contract and buying and delivering the tunnel boring machines which will build Australia's longest rail tunnels – 15km of twin tunnels between Epping and Bella Vista."
The North West Rail Link will connect Epping to Rouse Hill, in Sydney's growing north-west region, and include eight new railway stations at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and Cudgegong Road. Three major contracts to deliver the project are currently out to market.