Labor pledges $1 billion light rail system from Western Sydney to Homebush

State opposition leader Luke Foley yesterday put Strathfield front and centre of Labor’s transport policy, announcing it will build a $1 billion light rail system from Western Sydney to Homebush.

The move came just a day after he was criticised for slashing Liberal NSW Government’s infrastructure spend by $10 billion and axing the WestConnex road tunnel under Strathfield.

The light rail option, he maintained, opens up Olympic Park as a centre for business and jobs.

Currently, there are four route options for Western Sydney light rail under detailed study.

“Labors preferred option is from Parramatta through Olympic Park to Strathfield. This is because this route connects to the jobs rich precinct – the Westmeade precinct and the Olympic Park precinct,” said Mr. Foley

“It will allow people from Strathfield to come here for work, and allow people to and from Parramatta. I have said from day one, I want to improve transport connection through Western Sydney. We need to grow jobs in our suburbs, so they don’t have to travel to Sydney CBD for a decent job.”

He continued: “Strathfield is the third busiest railway station. The focus is on connectivity to reducing congestion, and increase transport options.

Labor received a negative response, after yesterdays announcement of their new infrastructure policy, which will cut the infrastructure budget to $10 billion over 10 years, and axe the M4 and M5 tunnel.

“I want the Liberal scare campaign to stop. Yesterday, Treasurer Andrew Constance and NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian falsely claimed that Labor would not proceed with Western Sydney light rail,” said Mr. Foley.

“This is Labors commitment and we will proceed unconditionally with the project,” said Mr. Foley. 

And he added: “Mr. Baird’s commitment to Western Sydney light rail depends absolutely on people agreeing to the sale of the states electricity network.”

Mr Foley said he would raise the $1 billion by taking $400 million from Restart NSW and the other $600 million from money set aside for infrastructure.

Strathfield Labor candidate Jodi McKay has been as strong advocate for light rail, and recently pledged a Labor government would give Strathfield $700,000 for a feasibility study for a new Town Centre and underground bus and rail interchange.

“Now there is the light rail. So you can start to see a bit of a vision for how I see Strathfield going forward. It is also about recognising that the town centre does not work currently and recognising that Strathfield station is one of the busiest stations in Sydney.”

Ms. McKay told the Scene: “I don’t understand why Charles Casuscelli is not advocating for light rail. I think he is toying with the party line. He should be advocating for the community, and obviously the light rail is what the Strathfield community would want. I want to know why he is being silent.”

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