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NSW budget provides bandaid solution

NSW budget provides bandaid solution City of Canterbury Bankstown Mayor, Khal Asfour, has accused the NSW Government of ignoring the largest Council area in the state, in this week’s budget. No  

City of Canterbury Bankstown Mayor, Khal Asfour, has accused the NSW Government of ignoring the largest Council area in the state, in this week’s budget.

The Government has allocated $16 million for the construction of on and off-ramps at Belmore Road (M5), $10 million for the widening of Henry Lawson Drive and $25 million for a new emergency department at Bankstown Hospital.

"That all sounds great on the surface but the Government itself estimates the Henry Lawson Drive project will cost $100 million, that’s a $90 million shortfall, while both Bankstown and Canterbury Hospitals are old and decaying facilities requiring rebuilding, similar to what’s promised for Liverpool," Mayor Asfour said.

"These are all short-term bandaid fixes. We not only need those expanded, we need more new hospitals on top of that, and schools, to accommodate the 150,000 extra people the Government wants Canterbury-Bankstown to accommodate over the next 20 years, as a result of the unrealistic housing target its imposed on us of 50,000 new dwellings.

"There is also an across-the-board cut of $32 million in grant funding to councils and a $5 million cut to library funding, even though our nine libraries have attracted an extra 1.65 million visitors over the past 12 months (32% increase). How do they expect us to maintain that level of service?"

The Government also released its Preferred Infrastructure Report for the South-West Metro rail project, between Sydenham and Bankstown. It does not include the undergrounding of the section of line from Punchbowl to Bankstown, which currently cuts Bankstown’s CBD in half.

"It’s called a Preferred Infrastructure Report but I’m not sure who prefers it," Mayor Asfour said.

"Council has always been opposed to the Metro proposal in its current form and the overdevelopment it will bring along the rail corridor, but we gave the Government a simple A-grade solution – underground a two-kilometre section of the line, including Bankstown Station.

"We even did their work for them, providing a detailed master plan to show how it could be cost-effectively delivered. There’s no doubt this piece of infrastructure could be game-changing, if done correctly.

"NSW Health has shown interest in developing a new state-of-the-art hospital on the extra land created, if Bankstown Station is placed underground. And, our proposal actually supports the Government’s own vision to establish Bankstown’s CBD as a health and education precinct. We already have Western Sydney University progressing on its plan to construct a new campus nearby.

"It will also mean additional open space would be created, something the Government is calling on councils all over Sydney to miraculously find. So our plan ticks multiple boxes!"

"We will be making a submission, once again providing solutions, and I urge residents and businesses to do the same."

The Preferred Infrastructure Report is on public exhibition until Wednesday 18 July and can be viewed online at and at Hard copies can be viewed at:

  • Bankstown Customer Service Centre, Upper Ground Floor, Bankstown Civic Tower, 66–72 Rickard Road, Bankstown;
  • Campsie Customer Service Centre, 137 Beamish Street, Campsie;
  • Campsie Library and Knowledge Centre, 14–28 Amy Street, Campsie;
  • Lakemba Library and Knowledge Centre, 62 The Boulevarde, Lakemba; and
  • Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre, 80 Rickard Road, Bankstown.

 26/06/2018 2:39 PM