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PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has asked the Infrastructure Department whether there can be a rail link to Western Sydney Airport by the time it opens – or if not, how soon afterwards.
“The Australian and NSW Governments have worked on a scoping study to look at the rail needs of western Sydney and Western Sydney Airport,” an Infrastructure Department spokesman said.
“The Australian Government is taking steps to safeguard space for future stations and preserve a rail corridor to the site,” he said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has asked when rail will be ready for Western Sydney Airport. Picture: AAP Image/Mick TsikasHowever, local MPs say the government is still off track when it comes to plans for passenger rail to and from the planned Western Sydney Airport.
The Badgerys Creek site for Sydney’s second airport is surrounded by major road but MPs and residents have repeatedly called for public transport connections to open when the airport does.
Werriwa federal Labor MP Anne Stanley said infrastructure minister Paul Fletcher was unable to commit to a train line in Question Time last week.
“He still refuses to do this,” Ms Stanley said.
“The longer we delay this, the more difficult it will become.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and urban infrastructure minister Paul Fletcher released the Western Sydney Airport Plan in Sydney in 2016. Picture: James CroucherThe Infrastructure Department spokesman said the scoping study from 2016 explored a range of rail routes that would connect the airport to the broader western Sydney region.
“The scoping study has reported to the two governments, and there will be more to say in the coming months,” he said.
Ms Stanley said federal Labor had committed to extending the South West Rail Link from Leppington via Bringelly to the new airport.
Federal Labor has repeatedly stated its support for an airport rail link.Labor federal infrastructure and transport spokesman Anthony Albanese also reinstated his support of the rail link last week.
“If done properly, the Western Sydney Airport could bring great investment and opportunity to the people of western Sydney,” Ms Stanley said.
“If not, we will have an enormous white elephant foisted upon us.”
Ms Stanley said passenger rail needed to connect the airport to the existing rail system before it was open to the public.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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