Sorry it's taken a while to get back, I've been busy with work.
First point, you can't cite current patronage on 'regional' public transport to justify the lack of improvement, provide a decent service and maybe more people would use it. No one is going to use a 2 hourly, circuitous service that bypasses where they actually want to go, unless they absolutely have to.
Using the same logic, the Carlingford Line had low patraonge, so there would be no point providing an increased level of service via the Parramatta Light Rail, should have saved the money and converted it into a cycleway.
Obviously provide the bulk of the funding to Sydney, but ONLY giving Sydney infrastructure leaves us with the problem we have now, NSW has 800,642 km² of land, and ONE livible city, and no one can afford to live there!
And regarding the word 'regional', you most likely remember my previous topics, I was advocating for improved public transport in Wollongong and Newcastle, these cities are not even 'regional', they are cities, with that being said, if what @SinickleBird
said about investing in the areas that are actually regional, it would be better as it would spread the population even more, Wollongong and Newcatle are still close to Sydney, Wollongong in particular.
Things were different back when you commuted from Gosford, nowadays not only are there not enough jobs to sustain the population, but everything is casualised, and employers want someone they can call up at any time.
Unfortunately this is incompatible if we are using a transportation/housing model that focuses on having people commute from outer areas quicker, serious regulations would need to be placed on employers to make it work.
I remember going to one job interview and almost got the job after explaining to one manager that I had family I could stay with in Sydney to avoid the commute issue, but when the other manager found out I was from Newcastle, that was the end of that, I made sure with my current job just to use the family members address and not take any chances, got the job alright but I hope I can get my tax return.
I have seen job applications that literally ask 'do you live within a 30 minute commute' and even NSW Government jobs say in the description that they will prioritise applicants that live within a 30/60 (can't remember which number exactly) commute, making this
apparent plan for fast rail completely redundant.
The comment I made about wealth relates to employers prioritising local applicants, if you only want to hire someone who lives within the 30 minute commute, then you only want to hire someone who can AFFORD to live within a 30 minute commute.
Regarding park & ride, the problem is simply that the car parks are never big enough, and if attempting to make them bigger, it would end up being more economic building more stations to fill in the large gaps,
not only that, areas around train stations are in high demand and can naturally be vary expensive, even though it's the elderly, disabled, and familes who depend on such areas the most, and making them walkable and pedestrian friendly is good for small business growth.
Having these areas far apart and surrounding predominantly by not enough parking is a waste of a line's potential, and it doesn't help that the new housing developments are not designed in a way to support a practical bus network, as @djf01
I certainly do not believe Sydney's southwest should have multiple railway lines branching out in each direction, I just believe the existing lines should have more stations that are easier to walk to.
Charging for station parking is an interesting idea, but would you plan on lowering fares, if train fare + station parking = more expensive than petrol, people will just drive, I support the cheaper fares but others don't.
I would like the idea of paying and having money refunded if you actually catch the train (to stop people using the car park for other reasons) kind of like the coin-deposit shopping trollies.
I know Ashfield station has a commuter car park that you need your Opal card to access, but as far as I know, it still fills up.
Lastly, regarding stations at Wattle Grove and Voyage Point, both areas are difficult to serve by buses, both are right next to the railway line, the railway line already has frequent trains running through, and the only nearby station is impossible to park at despite the mammoth parking structure, it should be a no-brainer.