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New Economic Data Shows Urgent Need to Fast-Track Metro West

Release Date: 30/05/2017
The Sydney Business Chamber, Western Sydney has called on the NSW Government to fast-track the Metro West project for a completion date of at least 2025 following the release of a new SGS Economics and Planning report. 
The report demonstrates the Greater Parramatta and Olympic Peninsula (GPOP) needs infrastructure similar to what is currently available in East Sydney and it will only achieve its full potential once high-capacity transport solutions such as the Metro West project and light rail options are in place to meet the needs of residents, workers and visitors.
Sydney Business Chamber, Western Sydney Director David Borger said the report highlighted an urgent need for more transport and social infrastructure such as schools and medical facilities in the Greater Parramatta and Olympic Peninsula (GPOP) corridor to meet the needs of its growing population and realise the Greater Sydney Commission’s ambitious vision for the area. 
“The GPOP has been identified as Greater Sydney’s true centre with its population growing at such a rate that it will match East Sydney’s* current population by 2041,” Mr Borger said.
“We know the timing of the Metro West project is under active consideration within Government. 
“It is also acknowledged by key agencies and planners as a ‘game changer’ to free up capacity across the whole network and to substantially enhance quality of life outcomes and access for communities right across Central and Western Sydney.
“Added to this, the existing train line that services GPOP is more than a century old and operates at 135 per cent seated capacity during the morning peak. 
“Government figures also show that despite scheduled upgrade works and increased services, the line is expected to be severely overcrowded within the next 15 years, which further highlights the need for critical transport solutions including the Metro West and Light Rail to be fast-tracked,” he said.
“We can’t afford to let housing sprint ahead of jobs and infrastructure and that is happening at the moment and any delay in the Metro West project will be a delay in solving the jobs imbalance of Sydney.”
The SGS Economics and Planning report, Connecting Sydney Olympic Park and GPOP with Greater Sydney outlined that social and transport infrastructure in the GPOP corridor is less than half of what is currently available in East Sydney, an area of comparative size that covers Sydney’s CBD and Pyrmont, east to Bondi Junction, south to the airport and west to Sydney University. 
The report also highlighted the number of medical facilities and schools in GPOP would need to more than double by 2041 (from 24 schools currently to at least 57 by 2041) to match the existing social infrastructure currently available in East Sydney. 
The report compared GPOP and East Sydney due to their geographic size and similar assets including proximity to a CBD precinct; parkland, recreation and sporting facilities; and health and education precincts. 
Discrepancies between the two corridors (East Sydney and GPOP) in relation to public transport and private vehicle usage were also revealed in the report. 
It found significantly more people working in GPOP used private cars to get to work (75 per cent of workers), compared to people in East Sydney where only 32 per cent of workers used private cars. 
“We know the potential of the GPOP corridor is enormous but adequate transport infrastructure solutions should be in place as soon as possible, so residents, workers and visitors can form good public transport habits, rather than becoming reliant on cars,” Mr Borger said. 
Nearly 60 per cent of residents in East Sydney catch public transport or walk to work (57 per cent) compared to 35 per cent for people who live in GPOP – highlighting the need for greater public transport infrastructure investment. 
Key findings: 
Greater Parramatta & Olympic Peninsula East Sydney
Population of 278,000 by 2041
Current population of 263,000 (2016)
Employment of 257,000 by 2041
Current employment of 615,000 (2016)
24 schools (current)
57 schools (current)
2 major hospitals (current)
5 major hospitals (current)
17,500 university students (current)
138,000 university students (current)
10 million visitors annually to major parkland
20 million visitors annually to major parkland
*East Sydney – is an area identified for the purposes of the SGS Economics and Planning Report of comparative size to Greater Parramatta and Olympic Peninsula, covering Sydney’s CBD and Pyrmont, east to Bondi Junction, south to the airport and west to Sydney University. 

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