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Mayor calls for Commission of Inquiry

Mayor calls for Commission of Inquiry The Mayor of the City of Canterbury Bankstown has called for a Commission of Inquiry, into the NSW Government’s proposed South West (Sydenham to Bankstown) Metro rail project. No  

​The Mayor of the City of Canterbury Bankstown has called for a Commission of Inquiry, into the NSW Government’s proposed South West (Sydenham to Bankstown) Metro rail project.

Khal Asfour received the support of his fellow councillors overnight, when they also decided to seek support from all local State Members of Parliament, and agreed to cease negotiations with Transport for NSW, which is wanting leasehold acquisition of Council-owned land at 15 Close Street, Canterbury, to use as a compound site for the parking of construction workers’ vehicles; storage of construction materials; and office space in the old Canterbury Bowling Club building.

"I am disappointed it’s come to this but we really have no alternative," Mayor Asfour said.

"There has been very little effort made by the Government and its department, to work with us on creating the best transport outcome for our 360,000 residents.

"As it stands, the project will deliver nothing for Canterbury-Bankstown. In fact, it got even worse when the Government reviewed its plans and reduced the construction budget from around $1.2 billion to just $300 million.

"We just want to be treated fairly – any South West Metro needs to be designed to an equivalent level of quality, scope and investment as the City and North West Metro."

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.

Council has previously recommended:

  • 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;

  • 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 identified key gaps;
  • The project must comply with the Government’s own Better Placed and Future Transport 2056 strategy;
  • The Government’s Preferred Infrastructure Report 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.

Mayor Asfour said the precedent for an inquiry was set in June, when an inquiry, conducted by the Public Accountability Committee, was established into the impact of the Westconnex Project.

 12/02/2019 12:21 PM