THE NSW Government last week announced that the inner-city suburb of Waterloo has been selected as the thirty-first station on Sydney Metro – providing a once in a lifetime opportunity to renew the area's social housing and increase the supply of new homes close to the CBD.
Premier Mike Baird, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance, Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Social Housing Minister Brad Hazzard said the revitalised area around the new metro station could deliver thousands of new jobs and homes to meet the needs of a growing Sydney.
"The metro station creates the opportunity to transform Waterloo and make it a better place to live for future and existing residents, many of whom are amongst the most vulnerable people in NSW," Mr Baird said.
"Waterloo Station will help bring new jobs to the area as well as providing a direct public transport link to employment hubs at Barangaroo and Martin Place."
Mr Constance described Sydney Metro as a game-changer for the city. "The station at Waterloo will make this rapidly growing part of Sydney more accessible and take pressure off Redfern and Green Square Stations," he said.
The ageing Waterloo social housing estate will be progressively renewed to create a vibrant community with a mix of private, affordable and social housing. There will be no loss of social housing from the current 2,000 dwellings.
While some residents may need to move into other housing in the local area during redevelopment, many residents will be able to relocate into new social housing on the estate as the renewal progresses.
"The metro station will transform the Waterloo housing estate for the better, building a dynamic community with better amenity, better homes, better facilities, fantastic transport and more jobs," Mr Hazzard said.
"I can assure Waterloo tenants that if they want to remain in Waterloo after the redevelopment, they can do so."
Mr Stokes said the proposed Waterloo metro station will be the catalyst for the delivery of an additional 10,000 homes and thousands of new jobs in the precinct for families who live in the area.
The community will be consulted about the future of the neighbourhood to help prepare more detailed precinct plans with new parks, homes and community facilities. An Environmental Impact Statement for the metro station is expected to be released in mid-2016.
The renewal process will be undertaken in a staged approach over the next 15 to 20 years, with the first relocations not expected until mid- 2017.
Following the decision for a preferred station at Waterloo, Transport for NSW will now look into improving public transport at The University of Sydney through significant upgrades to Redfern Station and improved pedestrian connectivity through Redfern and Darlington associated with the Central to Eveleigh Urban Transformation Program.
The NSW Government will investigate a Special Infrastructure Contribution around Waterloo station to be reserved for the Sydney Metro project and associated infrastructure, under a similar model to the Parramatta Light Rail project.