Hills Mayor calls on James Shaw to change track on Light Rail route
Published on 13 March 2015
The future route of Western Sydney Light Rail should be based on feasibility and demand, not the political ambitions of Labor favourites, said the Mayor of The Hills Shire, Clr Andrew Jefferies.
Mayor Jefferies comments follows the decision of Parramatta's Labor candidate James Shaw to support an alternative light rail route to Olympic Park and Strathfield proposed by David Borger and Luke Foley that would bypass Carlingford and much of the Parramatta state electorate.
"The Borger/Foley light rail option is a political fix to help secure the careers of past, present and future candidates for the NSW Opposition. Sadly, it once again ignores the residents of Carlingford, North Rocks and Oatlands by committing public funds to a project that isn't required or wanted by the community in Western Sydney."
"I am disappointed that James Shaw is ignoring the electorate that he wishes to represent. If Mr Shaw was in touch with the Parramatta electorate, he would understand the importance of the future construction of the Western Sydney Light Rail route to residents in Carlingford and adjacent suburbs such as North Rocks and Oatlands," said Mayor Jefferies.
A Western Sydney Light Rail route from Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Carlingford would provide a high quality, high frequency service along the route of the present Carlingford to Clyde line and connect the Parramatta CBD with Rosehill Racecourse, UWS Rydalmere, Dundas, Telopea Carlingford and Epping.
"I understand that Mr Shaw wasn't given any input into the decision to support the Borger/Foley option to Olympic Park, however, I now call upon him to support the Parramatta to Macquarie Park route via Carlingford as a priority, to be the first constructed route of the Western Sydney Light Rail network."
"Any failure to do would show a complete disregard and contempt for the Parramatta electorate and Carlingford residents in particular," Mayor Jefferies said.
The Macquarie Park via Carlingford route has the support of Parramatta Mayor Scott Lloyd, the unanimous support of The Hills Shire Council, the Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee MP and Member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott MP.
“As I’ve said several times before, Parramatta to Strathfield via Sydney Olympic Park is a duplication of the existing heavy rail service,” Mayor Jefferies said.
“You can hop on a train at Parramatta station during peak hour and be at Strathfield in 20 minutes or Sydney Olympic Park in 30 minutes. The NSW Government has already committed funds that would allow more heavy rail services along this corridor."
“Meanwhile Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Carlingford is a route that is desperately needed, as residents and businesses along this corridor are forced to drive or catch buses with long travel times. Given the current and future densities along the route of this line, it is clear that light rail would be successful from its first day of operation.”
Mayor Jefferies said he was disappointed that Mr Shaw had chosen not to speak out against this political fix to support his local community.
“I would’ve thought that Labor’s candidate for Parramatta would know all too well how desperately the Parramatta to Macquarie Park via Carlingford route is needed by our community.”
“Given Mr Shaw's knowledge of Parramatta Council's key involvement in the Western Sydney Light Rail process, he would surely understand that the Borger/Foley option is not wanted by those he wishes to represent.”
“The future Western Sydney Light Rail network needs to be based on transport needs to service the current and planned densities, ensuring that public funds aren’t squandered on areas that already have adequate public transport.”