Upper House Inquiry Established into Public Transport Needs in Western Sydney
A newly established Upper House Inquiry into current and future public transport needs in Western Sydney will examine the adequacy of public transport options in Western Sydney and what's required for projected population growth, committee chair Cate Faehrmann MLC, and the Greens transport, infrastructure and Western Sydney spokesperson, said.
The Inquiry, which is expected to report its findings on 24th March next will examine a broad range of public transport issues including accessibility, connectivity, affordability, social impacts, service levels and staffing, as well as future public transport plans and delivery for Sydney’s diverse and rapidly growing West.
“Western Sydney is doing the heavy lifting in terms of housing and providing workers for a growing Sydney. Public transport needs to catch up and keep pace with Western Sydney’s growth ,and the best way to do that is to ask some hard questions about how our public transport system is doing now, and what will be needed into the future,” Ms Faehrmann said.
“Western Sydney is more car dependent than the rest of Sydney and residents have long, expensive commutes. Residents need reliable, safe, easily accessible public transport to get them to school, work and family so they can get off expensive toll roads and spend more time doing the things they enjoy.
“The previous government spent up big on toll roads, and made lavish promises of light rail and metro systems, but most of the real connectivity so needed by Western Sydney is still on the to-do list.
“Access to public transport should be equitable across Sydney. At the moment though we know it's not, especially with the massive urban sprawl allowed by previous governments and continuing unchecked under this one. Public transport infrastructure is always lagging, and almost always forgotten.
“Western Sydney is large and growing. It’s already home to 1 in 11 Australians. A modern, sophisticated city needs a public transport system that can move its citizens cheaply, safely and reliably. It;s my hope that this Inquiry will give us not only an accurate picture of where things are at now, but more importantly, what we need to provide in the future to support the dynamic and hardworking communities of Western Sydney,” said Ms Faehrmann.
The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry are:
1. That Portfolio Committee No. 6 – Transport and the Arts inquire into and report on the current and future public transport needs for Western Sydney, particularly the:
- availability and accessibility of public transport services across Western Sydney, the adequacy of connectivity between public transport hubs and commercial hubs and any gaps in services
- current and anticipated levels of demand for public transport services and the public transport requirements to meet this demand
- changing nature of public transport needs due to shifting demographics, new suburbs, planned infrastructure and increased density
- social, economic and planning impacts of vehicle dependency and poorly integrated public transport
- affordability compared with other areas of Greater Sydney and New South Wales and relative to means
- role of public transport and future transport technologies to reduce car dependency in Western Sydney, including barriers to improving public transport services
- role of the public and private sector, including local government and the use of innovative funding models, such as transit oriented development and value capture mechanisms, in public transport provision
- staffing and future workforce planning, taking into account predicted service demand based on predicted population growth in Western Sydney
- any other related matters.
2. The committee reports on its findings by 29 March 2024.