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LABOR leader Luke Foley has said he will dump the second harbour rail tunnel to connect the North West Rail line to the Bankstown line if he wins the March state election.
“I am not convinced another connection from the north is a priority for the city,” Mr Foley said yesterday, as he promised to release his infrastructure plan next month.
“I am looking at all the proposals on the drawing board at the moment and I’ll have a policy before the public of NSW early in the campaign.”
Premier Mike Baird is promising to use the $20 billion he says he will reap from a 49 per cent long-term lease of electricity networks to build the second harbour rail tunnel, as well as new connections to the north and south for the WestConnex Motorway.
Without the second harbour crossing rapid transit line, the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link would begin at Rouse Hill and end at Chatswood, creating a possible logjam.
Labor has committed to the WestConnex project and to maintaining the North West Rail, but it has to find ways of funding other projects given it is going to the March 28 poll opposing the sale of the electricity “poles and wires”.
The second harbour crossing has been costed at $10.4 b.
Mr Foley said he did not want to comment further until he released his policy. Mr Baird has promised $10.4 billion for a Sydney Rapid Transit line including a second Sydney Harbour crossing, new CBD stations and conversion of the Bankstown Line to rapid transit. The government has also promised $1 billion for a Western Sydney Rail Upgrade Program to improve the network, $1 billion for Parramatta Light Rail, a $4.5 billion Western Harbour road tunnel and $1.5 billion WestConnex connections to the south and west.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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