RSS Feed
No RSS feeds have been linked to this section.
9 April, 2014 12:47PM AEST

Light rail links across Western Sydney “critical”, says minister

The O’Farrell government says cross regional light rail links are critical to freeing up gridlock and unlocking economic and social opportunity in Western Sydney.

And a key urban development expert is pushing for that declaration to become an announcement.

With road congestion alone causing an estimated $5.1 billion in lost productivity for the city, and a lack of jobs a continuing issue in the growth areas of wider Western Sydney, 702 Mornings brought together the minister assisting the Premier on Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, and Ed Blakely, Honorary Professor in Urban Policy and the United States Studies Centre to discuss solutions.


Stuart Ayres says the North West Rail Link is an important development and Ed Blakely agrees.

“But what we need is more links between the cities in the West, because Westerners take jobs all across the West. So we need light rail, there’s no doubt about that,” Professor Blakely says.

Professor Blakely says one example is linking Macquarie Park, Fairfield and Liverpool, where he notes there is already a bus route and, thus, already a right of way for potential light rail.

“So we have all the basics, we just have to put it together, and the minister’s going to help me!” Professor Blakely says.

Mr Ayres declined to jump to an announcement, though he agreed cross regional links were critical.

But Professor Blakely says flexible housing options, more thoughtfully located education facilities and a conducive social environment were also important to making growth areas work better.

702 listeners also jumped in with thoughts including on rail routes, childcare, housing and jobs.