A new report to be released by the McKell Institute has highlighted the need to close the gap on infrastructure inequality that disproportionately affects Western Sydney.
The report titled “Funding the infrastructure of tomorrow” shows how lack of access to infrastructure exacerbates social inequalities and disadvantage.
Western Sydney is the fastest growing population centre in New South Wales – it’s the third largest economy in Australia behind the Sydney CBD and Melbourne.
But it has serious challenges – it’s lagging in infrastructure, jobs and there are major pockets of disadvantage.
For too long the NSW Government has ignored Western Sydney’s infrastructure challenges.
Alarmingly, the report notes that “Of the 33 Sydney Local Government Areas (LGAs), the third with the best access to public transport are all in the East or North districts as determined by the Greater Sydney Commission. Meanwhile all eight Western Sydney LGAs are located in the bottom third.”
What this report shows is the Government cannot continue to ignore the west when it comes to building the infrastructure to keep pace with areas of growth.
Parramatta’s population is set to increase by 140,000, Camden by 180,000, Liverpool by 190,000 and Blacktown by 201,000, over the next two decades.
Combined, there will be more growth – over 1.1 million people – in the suburbs of Blacktown, Liverpool, Camden, Parramatta, Penrith, Canterbury Bankstown, Cumberland, and Campbelltown – than across the rest of New South Wales combined.
Meanwhile over the same period, Northern Beaches will grow by just 27,000 and Mosman by just 999 people over the same period – and yet the NSW Government is still committed to building the Northern Beaches link – a $10 billion project, with a business case that barely stacks up.
NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns said:
“The NSW Government’s priorities are all wrong.
“Economic growth is being generated in the west, but this Government is spending it in the east.
“This isn’t rocket science – where there is growth we need the infrastructure to keep up, and what we know for sure is the growth over the next few decades will be in Western Sydney – not in the east.
“And it’s not just infrastructure in the traditional sense – we need schools, hospitals, libraries, parks, roads and public transport links to open up economic, job and social opportunities.
“It’s why Labor will scrap the Northern Beaches Link – a $10 billion project with limited wider economic benefits.
“Instead, a Minns Labor Government will direct infrastructure spending to where it is more needed – out west.
“This Government just wants to push hundreds of thousands of people into Western Sydney without any infrastructure to match – it’s time the west gets its fair share”.
Shadow Minister for Transport Jo Haylen said:
"The people of Western Sydney have it the hardest when it comes to access to public transport services, and when they finally get to their bus stop or train station there are fewer trains and buses available to them and their families."
“Families in the west deserve a real and reliable alternative to paying tolls that go up by 4 per cent every year in what is now the most tolled city in the world.”
“The Liberals have been in Government for eleven years, but in that time they’ve only delivered one genuinely new public transport service for the people of Greater Western Sydney.”
“Instead of building another toll road that Sydney doesn’t need, Labor will focus on delivering public transport services in the rapidly growing suburbs of Western Sydney where they are needed the most.”
Shadow Minister for Western Sydney, Greg Warren said:
"The priorities of the NSW Government are all wrong when it comes to transport and western Sydney."
"The Government is projecting major population growth for western Sydney without the infrastructure or public transport investment to match."
"That is why NSW Labor will prioritise new infrastructure in Western Sydney over building the Northern Beaches link."