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CBCity considers legal options over Metro

CBCity considers legal options over Metro The City of Canterbury Bankstown is set to investigate its legal options over the NSW Government’s Sydenham to Bankstown (South West) Metro rail project. No  

The City of Canterbury Bankstown is set to investigate its legal options over the NSW Government’s Sydenham to Bankstown (South West) Metro rail project.

Overnight, Mayor Khal Asfour told the Council meeting, that while all 15 councillors agreed it was vitally important for improvements to the local public transport system, it was clear the NSW Government’s proposal, as it stands, delivers nothing for Canterbury-Bankstown, its 360,000 residents and thousands of businesses.

"The Government has frequently stated this is a ‘defining city building opportunity’ but its proposal is actually a ‘defining city-destroying project’," Mayor Asfour said.

"It appears the Government’s recently announced reduction in proposed work on the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro has only been done to strip savings out of Canterbury-Bankstown, and throw billions of dollars to an underground line between Parramatta and the City. That will only funnel more workers out of our suburbs and into the Sydney CBD, taking with it valuable jobs.

"Also, while the 11 Liberal held seats in the north get new stations, public space improvements and 15km of new tunnel between Bella Vista and Epping, the existing 13.5km T3, between Sydenham to Bankstown, is replaced with an inferior, poorly designed, above ground metro. So, while the initial proposal was poorly conceived, the current changes have rendered it a white elephant!"

Overnight, Council approved its submission to the Government’s Preferred Infrastructure Report (PIR). Council’s concerns include:

  • No major upgrades to at least 30 bridges, leaving some without any footpaths and up to 1.3km between rail crossings;
  • No replacement of tracks at stations;
  • No replacement of concourses, except at Dulwich Hill;
  • No straightening of curved platforms to minimise gaps between platforms;
  • No additional canopies/shelters to shield commuters from weather conditions;
  • No new stations constructed, except a sub-standard shelter at Bankstown;
  • No additional service facilities, such as cafes and retail;
  • No precinct upgrades, except a small patch of grass at Bankstown; and
  • No open space, and no walking and cycling network originally promised.

"It is unfortunate, despite my request to meet with the Transport Minister, Canterbury-Bankstown continues to be snubbed, with no offer to discuss this project’s impact on it," Mayor Asfour said.

"There has also been no commitment to underground the rail line from Punchbowl to Bankstown, to remove the divide in the Bankstown CBD and free-up land for the emergence of the Bankstown CBD as a strategic centre with first class open space. In fact, the Government’s proposal contradicts its own Better Placed and Interchanges as Places policy, and the Active Transport Corridor recently prioritised in its South District Plan.

"So, we are left with little option but to investigate our legal options."

In its submission, Council is recommending:

  • The South West Metro be designed to an equivalent level of quality, scope and investment as the City and Northwest Metro;
  • All stations be upgraded to cater for future growth and include heritage retention, amenities, pavement, furniture, way-finding signage and lighting;
  • Station precinct designs include safe interchanges and connections to surrounding areas;
  • A working group be established with Council to re-design Bankstown and Campsie Stations;
  • That all approvals, contracts, agreements and budgets do not restrict the ability to improve station and precinct design;
  • The Active Transport Corridor is reinstated and delivered;
  • Overbridges and underbridges are upgraded and new pedestrian connections provided across the rail corridor in key gaps;
  • The project must comply with the Government’s own Better Placed and Future Transport 2056 strategy;
  • The PIR be referred to the NSW State Design Review Panel for expert advice prior to approval; and Station designs be amended to respond to the key issues noted in Council’s previous 160-page submission to the project’s EIS.

To read Council’s full submission, go to cb.city/sydneymetro


 25/07/2018 9:08 AM