The Disruption of Construction


AUSTRALIA’s infrastructure pipedream … can we ever get ahead?

The elected representatives in our Parliaments are ‘clever’ educated people
… the cost of the disruption is enormous … why would they be doing this?

It begs the question therefore … ‘What is in it for them?’

HOW can both Berejiklian and Scomo’s solutions to address
immigration be taken seriously as Australia continues to grow by some 400,000 people annually largely through immigration?

Related Article: Immigration Ponzi Fleeces NSW Taxpayers for another $3Bn

Cities, disruption and Australia’s never-ending jackhammer

Construction projects disrupt our cities for years on the promise of progress, but experts warn we need to evaluate whether these projects are really worth it.


Photos: ABC News: Brendan Esposito



The Disruption of Construction

The disruption of construction

In our booming cities, one construction project rolls into the next and those living through them are left asking: will we ever get ahead?

By Nick Sas with photography by Brendan EspositoUpdated 26 Feb 2020, 6:06amPublished 26 Feb 2020, 5:05am

It’s lunchtime. City workers — most with headphones firmly secured — zigzag around each other, searching for food or somewhere to sit.

The streets are buzzing, but the usual drone of traffic and city sound is drowned out. Something else has taken over: the relentless ra-ta-ta-ta-ta of an industrial scale drill.

Banging a hole under the watchful eye of hi-vis-clad construction workers, the drill is so loud it drowns out the beeps telling the city’s pedestrians it’s safe to cross the road.

Yet for 82-year-old Moses Srour, the noise is irrelevant.

Moses Srour has worked in the city for more than 65 years. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

“I’m half deaf,” he told the ABC. “I only hear what I want to hear.”

The shoe repairman’s hearing may be failing, but his vision is just fine.

And he’s seen it all.

Gaping holes where buildings once loomed above him.

Barriers where he used to walk.

And new buildings emerging where there were none before.

“Of course it’s changed,” Mr Srour told the ABC. “That’s what happens in the city.”

In Sydney’s CBD, where Mr Srour’s business is based, change has been the only constant.

He’s experienced it — and the disruption it brings — himself.

His shoe repair and key-cutting business, which has been operating for 64 years, was forced to relocate because of that incessant drill — the one helping build Sydney’s new train station as part of the $16.8 billion Metro line, Australia’s largest public transport infrastructure project.

A huge chunk of Sydney’s famous Martin Place, where Mr Srour’s shop used to be, has been dug out for the project, which last week was hit with an almost $3 billion cost blowout.

In posters plastered across the site, the NSW Government proudly asserts it will make “Tomorrow’s Sydney”.

Sydney’s Metro project is one of many multi billon-dollar projects promising to transform Australian cities. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

But what about the cities of today? Experts say when it comes to construction projects, Australia will always be “chasing a ball down a hill”.

Across the country, ourcapital cities are in the middle of an unprecedented infrastructure spend.

In Melbourne, the $11 billion Metro Tunnel project is flagged to wrap up by 2025, while the $6.7 billion West Gate Tunnel project — which was originally due for completion in 2022 — will come in 2023.

Perth’s Metronet train line project will transform the city, but has also suffered delays and controversies. Meantime, the Cross River Rail, an underground railway through central Brisbane, is set to cost $5.4 billion with a 2024 finish date.

In Sydney, the ongoing $17 billon WestConnex project — billed as the biggest road project in the world — is still four years away from completion.

“Our main cities, our metropolises, have been going through major surgery,” University of Melbourne urban policy professor Brendan Gleeson said.

“Particularly in the past decade, there’s been unprecedented growth, both in population and the built environment.

“But state governments across the nation recognise there’s been a severe infrastructure lag.”

Some planning experts believe Australia will constantly be playing catch-up on infrastructure. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

Today, independent advisory body Infrastructure Australia will launch its 2020 Infrastructure Priority List at Parliament House in Canberra.

The list is produced every year, and aims to address Australia’s “unprecedented infrastructure demand” by advising governments across the country which types of projects they should be focusing on.

Under this year’s theme of “resilience”, it identified 25 new projects, including four country-wide “high-priority projects” focusing on roads, water security, waste management and coastal protection.

These recommendations though are often ignored and experts have long criticised governments of pork-barrelling, lacking foresight and using infrastructure investment as a fall-back option to stimulate the economy.

Playing catch up

The population debate, and its impact on the country’s infrastructure needs, remains a political football.

In NSW, Premier Gladys Berejiklian recently called for a breather on immigration, while the Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced legislation encouraging skilled migrants to live and work in country towns in a bid to ease congestion.

The walk of the worker. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

Commuters on a tram in central Melbourne. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

Our cities have become harder to navigate as population and construction grows. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

A couple share a kiss within the chaos. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

Australian National University demographer Liz Allen said investment in the physical infrastructure of Australia’s major cities had been “financially and strategically inadequate for the last two decades at least”.

She said Australia did not need to take a breath on population growth from immigration, but instead leaders needed to “get a grip”.

“We don’t have cities and people spring up overnight,” Dr Allen said.

“The trouble for Australia, and its major cities, has been that political short-termism has prevented investments in major infrastructure because they extend beyond a couple of years.”

Now, it seems, we’re attempting to catch up.

Construction in Martin Place, Sydney. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

Marcus Spiller, an economist and urban planning expert for SGS Economics and Planning, has worked as an independent consultant for governments and private companies for 30 years.

He said before any major project was approved, it required a “cost-benefit analysis” to assess the external costs borne by all parties, its value and projected benefit.

However, he said that companies and governments tended to downplay the disruption costs and promote long-term benefits — a concept known as “optimism bias” in the industry.

“Lots of planners and developers will tend to note the disruption that’s suffered but assume in the long run the city is going to be better off,” he said.

“Is it all worth it? Well, it depends on the prize.”

The orange of the high-vis vest became a constant in the city. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

One of the many barriers put up during the Sydney light rail construction. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

A skater on Sydney’s George Street. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

Was Sydney’s light rail worth it?

This cost-benefit equation was put under the microscope during the construction of Sydney’s $3 billion light rail project.

For more than four years, large chunks of Sydney’s CBD and parts of its eastern suburbs became a construction zone.

Footpaths became roads.

Roads became more like mazes.

Pavements turned a different colour.

Businesses along the route were reassured about “the prize” that would come.

Three years before construction started, a NSW Government document talked about “a quieter and less chaotic environment with more space to move around” once the project was finished and a “more attractive, accessible environment for visitors, businesses and workers”.

After substantial cost blowoutsa parliamentary inquiry and significant disruption for residents and businesses along the route — resulting in a $40 million class action suit — the line finally opened in December, nine months later than projected.

But some commentators questioned whether the disruption was all worth it, as technical difficulties dogged its opening.

The slow speed of the route and passenger numbers have also come under scrutiny.

The NSW Government has since talked up the project being a catalyst for urban renewal and a development boom along its corridor.

A Transport NSW spokeswoman said there had been “around 39,000 trips each day”, but December and January were typically the “quietest months” of the year for public transport usage.

The NSW Government claims the light rail project has sparked a construction boom along the route. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

Planning and infrastructure experts are in almost universal agreement on one thing: Australia needs continual major infrastructure investment to catch up to population growth.

But they’re calling for greater scrutiny of the long-term cost benefits of these major infrastructure projects, known as a “post-completion review”.

Reviews have long been a recommendation from independent body Infrastructure Australia, but governments — federal, state and local — are not mandated to complete them.

A post-completion review of the Sydney project has not yet been conducted.

Don’t walk there. ABC News: Brendan Esposito

Grattan Institute transport and cities program director Marion Terrill said because they were not mandated, the reviews were rarely delivered.

“It costs money to go back to assess how well it went,” she said.

“No-one involved in the project has an incentive to do it — why would they want to highlight the problems?

“But as a population we have a great interest in that. It’s how we learn from mistakes.”

Will we ever get ahead?

With Australia’s population predicted to hit 30 million as soon as 2029, major infrastructure projects will continue to define our cities and disrupt our lives.

For Professor Gleeson, the cost benefit of most “city-shaping projects” is a no-brainer.

But he said: “We’re never going to catch up in Australia, we’re just staying on the tail of need.

“We just need to be smarter with the projects we choose, and when we do them.”

It’s a view also shared by both Dr Spiller and Ms Terrill, who deem the concept of “getting ahead” on infrastructure in Australia a “pipe dream”.

Yet, despite all the disruption these projects caused, for some it’s all just part of progress.

Within the four walls of his new shop in an underground arcade near the entrance to Martin Place station, Mr Srour is largely oblivious to the noise above him.

“I don’t go up there much,” he said. “I like it better down here.

“For me, thank god, everyday here in this city is better than the next.”

Moses Srour said he was happy to see change in his city. ABC News: Brendan Esposito


Immigration ponzi fleeces NSW taxpayers for another $3b

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance at a metro site in August.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Transport Minister Andrew Constance at a metro site in August.CREDIT:BEN RUSHTON

THIS Comment sums it up …

‘dumbest dumb fkning dumb country on the planet – its just so fkng dumb its honestly depressing to think about for too long … ‘


From the China Vision Times

Immigration ponzi fleeces NSW taxpayers for another $3b

By Leith van Onselen in Australian EconomyImmigration

February 24, 2020 | 15 comments

Incessant claims that Australia just needs to ‘plan better’, invest more and build more, ignore the increasingly costly and constrained options for further infrastructure in the face of such unprecedented numbers of people pouring into our major cities.

In already built-out cities like Sydney and Melbourne, the cost of retrofitting new infrastructure to accommodate greater population size and densities becomes prohibitively expensive as we buy back, bridge over or tunnel under existing assets, and as each new project disrupts more heavily-trafficked services causing greater productivity losses. These are what economists call ‘dis-economies of scale’.

*The Productivity Commission has been at the forefront highlighting the huge infrastructure costs associated with excessive population growth.

In its 2016 Migrant Intake into Australia report, the Commission noted:

Physical constraints in major cities make the costs of expanding infrastructure more expensive, so even if a user-pays model is adopted, a higher population is very likely to impose a higher cost of living for people already residing in these major cities

Funding will inevitably be borne by the Australian community either through user-pays fees or general taxation…

The Commission’s 2018 Shifting the Dial: 5 year productivity review similarly noted that infrastructure costs will balloon due to Australian cities’ rapidly growing populations:

Growing populations will place pressure on already strained transport systems… Yet available choices for new investments are constrained by the increasingly limited availability of unutilised land.

Costs of new transport structures have risen accordingly, with new developments (for example WestConnex) requiring land reclamation, costly compensation arrangements, or otherwise more expensive alternatives (such as tunnels).

Infrastructure Australia has also regularly warned on the rising cost of infrastructure provision caused by rapid population growth. For example, its 2018 Planning Liveable Cities report noted:

… construction of new infrastructure is often more expensive, due to the need to tunnel under existing structures or purchase land at higher costs. The small scale, incremental nature of growth in established areas can also lead to an over-reliance on existing infrastructure, which can result in congestion and overcrowding.

The latest example of these escalating costs comes from Sydney’s Metro train line through the city to the south-west, which was originally predicted to cost between $11.5 and $12.5 billion but may now blow out to $15.5 billion:


The Berejiklian government concedes the cost of its signature metro rail project under Sydney Harbour and the central city is set to blow out by up to $3 billion, laying blame primarily on an “overheated” market for contractors.

An extra $3 billion to complete the 30-kilometre metro rail line from Chatswood to Bankstown via Sydney’s CBD within the next four years will drive up the final cost to $15.5 billion

“I am sorry it happened this way but it is very much market forces at play in terms of the build. We are not denying there hasn’t been significant cost pressures on the project”…

“If you go back five years ago, I think it’s fair to say that not even Treasury could predict the escalation increases in the infrastructure market. And it’s not just in Sydney,” Mr Constance said, citing blowouts in transport projects in Melbourne.

“There has been an overheated infrastructure market for contractors and, of course, that means that … it has been very much an uplift for suppliers as opposed to procurers”.

This latest cost blowout follows the bungled Sydney Light Rail Project which, after lengthy delays, was delivered way over budget and received widespread condemnation from transport experts and the Auditor-General.

If the New South Wales Government cannot deliver these projects on Budget, what hope is there that the other $80 billion of projects will be delivered?

Prepare for billions of dollars of cost blowouts as Sydney tries in vain to keep pace with the population ponzi.

Hundreds to lose properties to make way for Western Sydney Metro

Leith Van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.


Taxpayers shafted again with Sydney Metro $4B over budget

JUST how much housing will NSW INC approve? Currently the Metro is running every 4 minutes, and they can crank that up to 2 minutes!

Which will allow for a massive increase in housing density

REZONING a 2 Km radius circle around each station for high rise … say 20, 30 storeys, and lotsa medium-density beyond that so the Metro will run at full capacity … sardine-like …

FROM the ‘suggestion box’ a Metro up the Northern Beaches and Eastern suburbs down to Maroubra just what Harry wants … complete with massive rezonings

BECAUSE the northern beaches are a wasted recreational resource, and need loads more VIBRANCY!

WHY do you reckon Jean Toplace has lined himself up with Ralan?

Artist impressions of the new Skyview residential development by Toplace.

Photo: Toplace vision for Castle Hill; Daily Telegraph

Transport Minister Andrew Constance, left, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian inspect one of the station sites last year.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance, left, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian inspect one of the station sites last year. CREDIT:JAMES BRICKWOOD

Taxpayers shafted again with Sydney Metro $4b over budget

By Leith van Onselen in Australian budget

February 5, 2020 | 11 comments

I have noted repeatedly that one of the key reasons why Australia’s high population growth (immigration) is lowering the living standards of existing residents is because of the strain that it places on infrastructure, which inevitably leads to more congestion on roads, public transport, as well as more expensive housing.

Basic math (and common-sense) suggests that if you double the nation’s population, you need to at least double the stock of infrastructure to ensure that living standards are not eroded (other things equal).

In practice, however, the solution is not that simple. In already built-up cities like Sydney and Melbourne, which are also the major magnets for migrants, the cost of retrofitting new infrastructure to accommodate greater population densities is prohibitively expensive because of the need for land buy-backs, tunnelling, as well as disruptions to existing infrastructure.

The latest example of these escalating costs comes from Sydney’s Metro train line through the city to the south-west, which was originally predicted to cost between $11.5 and $12.5 billion but may now blow out to $16.8 billion:

INFOGRAPHIC: The Metro City and Southwest will add 18 extra stops to the network. (Supplied: NSW Government)

In Question Time today, the Opposition sought to clarify if the project had blown out from between $11.5-$12.5 billion to $16.8 billion — a price jump the Government did not deny.

“Do major projects have challenges? Of course they do,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

“When it comes to a major infrastructure project, we always keep the community advised every step of the way”…

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet also would not be drawn on whether the project would be millions more than planned.

“Whether it’s the North West Metro [or] the South West Metro … these projects aren’t being built for the sake of it, [they] will make a huge difference to people’s lives, so they can get home to their families faster.

“We’ve seen that in north-west Sydney, we’ll soon see that in south-west Sydney”…

Any major blow-out in its cost of the Metro will have serious ramifications for the NSW Government’s ambitious $93 billion infrastructure program.

This latest cost blowout follows the bungled Sydney Light Rail Project which, after lengthy delays, was delivered way over budget and received widespread condemnation from transport experts and the Auditor-General.

If the New South Wales Government cannot deliver these projects on Budget, what hope is there that the other $80 billion of projects will be delivered?

Prepare for billions of dollars of cost blowouts as Sydney tries in vain to keep pace with the population ponzi.

Leith Van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

There was a power outage on the Sydney Metro this morning

Photo: the Metro City and Southwest lines scheduled to be completed by 2024 . AAP


Change of tack for metro station development on Sydney’s north shore

Labor’s transport spokesman, Chris Minns, said the suggestion that the procurement package had been separated after “noting community concern seems particularly far-fetched … “

-based on the major developments lumped on other Sydney communities after NSW Government unilaterally rezoned the planning over train lines

-that the government should release the number of parties interested in the integrated station development

ARE Australians being forced ‘to get out of the way for a laundromat for a global city awash with black money’ for ‘One Belt One Road’ … cough … cough … ?

For ever more high-rise residential apartment precincts for foreign buyers from China and Hong Kong? The Metro is to run from Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour to central Sydney and on to Bankstown.

CHATSWOOD, a city in the middle of nowhere being built by the Chinese Communist Party … from David Lee, a GeoPolitical Strategist ..

VIEW this explains what it is all about! Then Share!

Change of tack for metro station development on Sydney’s north shore

Matt O'Sullivan
By Matt O’Sullivan

View all comments

The NSW government has split plans to construct a new metro train station on Sydney’s north shore from the development of towers above it, in the wake of widespread opposition from locals.

The government ditched a tender for an “integrated station development” at Crows Nest last year and has since opted for a “construct-only package” for the new train station, leaving the scale of the buildings set to emerge above it still to be finalised.

The rationale for “integrated developments” is that offices, shops and apartments help to subsidise the cost of the train station below, which can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

An early concept plan of the development above a new metro station at Crows Nest.
An early concept plan of the development above a new metro station at Crows Nest. CREDIT:TRANSPORT FOR NSW

The change of tack at Crows Nest comes as a recent report by the NSW Audit Office shows that the state’s lead transport agency suffered a $258 million loss on integrated station development agreements for metro lines in Sydney in the year to June.

Transport for NSW declined to reveal how many bids it received last year for the integrated station development at Crows Nest before it scrapped the tender.

It said that separating the construction package at Crows Nest allowed the station to “progress while the NSW government considers community feedback about the development above the station”.

*But Labor’s transport spokesman, Chris Minns, said the suggestion that the procurement package had been separated after “noting community concern seems particularly far-fetched”.

*“Other suburbs across Sydney have not been so lucky with major developments lumped on their communities after the government unilaterally rezoned the planning over their train lines,” he said.



The underground cavern for the new metro station at North Sydney.

Deep dilemma for engineers designing giant metro cavern under North Sydney

While the transport agency declined to reveal the level of interest last year in an integrated development, it recently announced that it had shortlisted three companies – AW Edwards, CPB Contractors and Laing O’Rourke – for construction of the Crows Nest station.

The early concept plans for the development above the station had included two towers of up to 27 storeys, a 17-storey hotel and conference centre, and an eight-storey commercial building.

The vast majority of about 670 submissions from locals and councils were opposed to the plans.

North Sydney Council urged the government to “take on board” concerns about the size, height and overshadowing that had been previously raised about the development above the station.

The station will form part of a metro rail line budgeted at $12.5 billion which will run from Chatswood, under Sydney Harbour to central Sydney and on to Bankstown.

*Martin Locke, an adjunct professor at Sydney University’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, said the number of companies interested in bidding to develop both the station at Crows Nest and the buildings above was likely to be “constrained” because a unique skill-set was required to do both.

However, he said separating construction of the station from the development above it would help widen the field of companies interested in bidding on either contract.

Mr Locke said integrated station developments were a way to help partly pay for the cost of a railway but were likely to be confined to central Sydney, North Sydney and Parramatta.

“They can only be pursued where the airspace property development rights are really valuable. This requires density and scarcity. Otherwise, developers are going to be disinterested,” he said.

Play video1:49Tunnel boring machines breakthrough i North Sydney

Young girl drowns in Guilderton

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and state transport minister Andrew Constance speaking to media in the tunnels of the North West Metro project in North Sydney about the breakthrough at what will become Victoria Cross station.

Tunnel boring machines breakthrough in North Sydney

Matt O’Sullivan

Matt O’Sullivan is City Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald.




Five per cent price hike for Opal fares recommended by regulator

NSW Constituents are losing what was Our PUBLIC Heavy Rail Network for the privatised MTR Hong Kong Consortium Metro …

Why?  For ever more opportunities for overseas buyers to launder black money in high-rise residential …

With the Chatswood to Rouse Hill North West line it has been reported from an Engineer that the narrow tunnels present a hazard!

There have been a number of reports of delays and more!

WHAT happened to MP Sidoti’s referral to ICAC?  It was reported in the Daily Telegraph that the Berejiklian Government blocked a motion in Parliament to refer John Sidoti to a full ICAC investigation … a day after he stood down as a Minister!

Looks like there is something to see here?  Afterall Mr Sidoti has a 10 per cent interest in a $70M residential tower development in Rouse Hill near the newly completed Metro train line.

MEANWHILE commuters with the privatisation for the Metro are to lose services; have to change up to 2 or 3 times to get to the CBD; and are now facing an Opal Card price hike!

Five per cent price hike for Opal fares recommended by regulator

Tom Rabe
By Tom Rabe

December 10, 2019

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Single fares for Sydney’s public transport should be increased by 5 per cent annually over the next four years but more discounts should be offered to regular users, according to the state’s pricing regulator.

In a draft report to the NSW Government, the Independent Price and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) said passengers were currently paying about a quarter of the overall cost of public transport, with taxpayers funding the rest – the equivalent of $4900 per household.

The independent pricing regulator has recommended the government increase Opal fares by 5 per cent on average.
The independent pricing regulator has recommended the government increase Opal fares by 5 per cent on average.CREDIT:EDWINA PICKLES

A 5 per cent annual rise for single Opal fares between 2020 and 2024 would amount to a 30-cent increase for every adult journey on average, according to the regulator.

While the IPART recommended an increase in fares, the draft report also suggests the government introduce a range of cost-saving measures for regular commuters and low-income passengers.Advertisement

Those include offering people discounted fares after travelling three-to-four days a week, rather than the current eight-trip threshold, as well as discounted off-peak fares for all modes of transport except ferries.

The regulator said those measures would encourage people to travel outside of peak times, reduce load on the network and avoid the need for additional services.

It also recommended offering people with a Commonwealth Health Care Card (roughly 2 per cent of passengers) discounted rates.

Ferry fares would be exempt from any three-to-four day discount under the IPART recommendations.
Ferry fares would be exempt from any three-to-four day discount under the IPART recommendations.CREDIT:MICHELE MOSSOP

“Enabling access to transport for those who are struggling to make ends meet is vital for their continued participation in the workforce,” the report said.

The recommendations would provide a balance between passenger contribution and taxation funding to make the public transport network sustainable over the long term, the IPART said.

A spokeswoman for Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the government would have the final say on Opal fares.

“The NSW Government is focussed on keeping downward pressure on the cost of living, this includes ensuring public transport is affordable for everyone,” the spokeswoman said.

“IPART play an important role in making recommendations to government as well as determining the maximum fare, however the government has the final say on Opal fares.”

The opposition called on the government to reject the recommendations.

“At a time of stagnant wage growth and low inflation, with rising unemployment, the Berejiklian government should not take this opportunity to gouge the hardworking families of NSW,” shadow treasurer Walt Secord said.

The regulator in 2016 recommended a 4.2 per cent hike of Opal fares over four years, however the government chose to increase the price by CPI, which was 1.9 per cent last year.

As well as ticket pricing, the IPART has also recommended the government consider offering a wider variety of public transport passes, including $20 weekend passes for unlimited access.

“Passengers would be able to choose different travel passes and products tailored to meet their travel patterns and budgets,” the draft report said.

The final IPART report is expected to be handed down in February 2020.

License this article

Tom Rabe

Tom Rabe is Transport Reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.

The independent pricing regulator has recommended the government increase Opal fares by 5 per cent on average.




Converting Sydenham-to-Bankstown line to Metro will disadvantage thousands, inquiry told

JUST goes to show this whole debacle was not put together for transport alone … so was it about …

-cashflow for future leveraging/sell-off to other interests?
-value capture?
-other real estate opportunities?

ADD to the cost of this mess the cost of the light rail and Sydney will have achieved far less than expected for a lot more money than anticipated …

Converting Sydenham-to-Bankstown line to Metro will disadvantage thousands, inquiry told

By Greg Miskelly

11 DECEMBER 2019

There was a power outage on the Sydney Metro this morning

PHOTO: The new Metro trains are expected to be servicing the area by 2024. (AAP: Joel Carrett)

RELATED STORY: The design trick that could cut 12 minutes off your train commute

RELATED STORY: With Sydney set to grow by 1.5 million, minister starts reshaping the ‘boomburgs’

RELATED STORY: 36,000 new units proposed for Sydney rail corridor

RELATED STORY: New Sydney Harbour crossing to be built at ‘rocket speed’ by 2024: NSW Govt

Thousands of people will be worse off when the Sydenham-to-Bankstown heavy rail line line is converted to a Metro service, a NSW parliamentary inquiry has been told.

Key points:

  • Nine stations west of Bankstown will lose all direct rail connections to the city
  • Almost 20,000 commuters will be forced to change trains twice to reach stops including Town Hall and Redfern
  • Sydney University says its students and staff will be disadvantaged by the plan

The inquiry into Sydney Metro Southwest yesterday probed how the multi-billion dollar project will blow-out some travel times after direct services are cut.

Around 20,000 commuters will lose their express trains to the CBD in the next three years when work on the new Metro line commences.

The stations facing cuts as part of the multi-billion-dollar blueprint to overhaul Sydney’s rail network are Berala, Regents Park, Carramar, Villawood, Leightonfield, Chester Hill, Sefton, Birrong and Yagoona.

The new Metro line is expected to open in 2024.

Roydon Ng, from community group “Restore Inner-West Line” said the impacts would be “devastating” to young people who work and study in the city.

“They will be isolated from the rest of the Sydney Trains network, having to change for the first time ever since the rail network was built,” he said.

Kaashif Ahmed outside train station

PHOTO: Kaashif Ahmed says it will take him an hour to get to work. (ABC Image: Greg Miskelly)

IT professional Kaashif Ahmed relies on a 38-minute express train from Birrong to Town Hall to get to work.

His said his new trip would take over an hour, with two line changes required — the first at Bankstown onto the Metro, and then another at Sydenham back on to the heavy rail line.

“If that change comes in, I have to take three trains to reach Town Hall, which is such a pain for me,” he said.

Helen Huynh, a health sciences student at Sydney University, said she was also losing her direct connection from Yagoona to Redfern.

She said the NSW Government’s plans would “inconvenience” people in her area.

“The communications have not been effective for this multicultural community,” she said.

“There is a lot of Vietnamese people in this area.

“And they haven’t been shown any Vietnamese language communication as to what’s happening.”

A NSW Government submission to the inquiry said the changes will help deliver a 60 per cent increase in rail services.

“Sydney Metro, together with signalling upgrades across the existing Sydney rail network, will increase the capacity of train services entering the Sydney Central Business District — from about 120 an hour today to up to 200 services beyond 2024,” it said.

Student Helen Huynh

PHOTO: Helen Huynh’s direct service from Yagoona to Redfern is going to be cut. (ABC Image: Ross Byrne)

Sydney University submitted data to the inquiry showing more than 3,500 students and staff who “live within 2km of stations” would be disrupted.

Greg Robinson, the university’s Director of Campus Infrastructure, told the ABC “continuing with Redfern Station” as the sole rail option for the university was “not a sustainable strategy”.

“Students and staff living west of Sydenham will face about 15 per cent extra travel times, while those using the T3 limited stops service will face up to 26 per cent longer travel times each way,” he said.

He said a proposed Metro stop at Camperdown, which was rejected by the NSW Government, was sorely needed.

Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins said converting the line to a Metro service would “disentangle” the city’s congested heavy rail network.

“Removing this branch line from the existing railway makes the system operate more efficiently, delivers benefits far and wide and removes a bottleneck,” he said.

The inquiry also probed whether some railway stations may close after the Metro opens — something that remains unclear.

Protestors hold signs outside of NSW Parliament

PHOTO: Protestors outside NSW Parliament on Tuesday over the planned station cuts. (Supplied: Sammy Jane Freeman)




Rouse Hill: developer DEICORP submits plans for 375 apartments

WHY has Landcom appointed Deicorp for the Sydney Metro Tallawong Station Housing Project?

… in view of its record …


April 2015:  The former CROWLE Home Site now a DEICORP development at Meadowbank

December 2015 … A Resident of ‘Star Printery’ by Deicorp at Erskineville ordered to leave by her Doctor!

2016: Hurstville Residents in Heritage Conservation Area lose Battle against Developer

Hurstville residents angry after developer asks for two extra storeys

How Western Sydney has Transformed over the last Decade

DEICORP is listed among them … view the aerial photos for the loss of green space from 2013/14 to 2018 for development

LANDCOM Appoints Developer for SYDNEY METRO: Tallawong Station Housing Project

FIGHT begins to halt plans to redevelop site at DALWOOD CHILDREN’s HOME in Seaforth

Rouse Hill: developer Deicorp submit plans for 375 apartments

Hundreds of apartments and a new commercial centre are planned to be built near the Sydney Metro northwest and a bustling town centre.

See artist impressions of the proposed project.

Jake McCallum, Urban Affairs Reporter, Rouse Hill Times

November 6, 2019

375 apartments could be built by developers Deicorp at Civic Way, Rouse Hill.
375 apartments could be built by developers Deicorp at Civic Way, Rouse Hill.

375 apartments could be built by developers Deicorp at Civic Way, Rouse Hill.
375 apartments could be built by developers Deicorp at Civic Way, Rouse Hill.
375 apartments could be built by developers Deicorp at Civic Way, Rouse Hill.
375 apartments could be built by developers Deicorp at Civic Way, Rouse Hill.





Up to 5600 HOMES to Surround KELLYVILLE and BELLA VISTA Metro Stations

IT was heartening to read the comments … with the majority expressing condemnation for NSW INC and the OVERDEVELOPMENT Agenda … They are not buying it, Gladys!

WITH a token ‘five per cent of the dwellings at both sites will be affordable homes available for low to middle income earners, the plans reveal.’ Too bad, isn’t it, for a whole Cohort of Aussies locked out …. ??

With comments like these the majority are over it:

-Disappointing to see the total absence of the word “vibrant” in this article

-The COALition grand plan: build Metro rail so they can:

* eliminate train drivers
* privatise the system
* allow fat profits for their developer mates
* house more low cost workers to continue to drive down wages and conditions.

Don’t ever trust the neocons when they spend taxpayer money for apparent public benefit – it’s a trap!

-Now the trains will be full right at the start of the journey. Excellent recipe for a more overcrowded unpleasant to live in city.

-Great! Just what Sydney needs. Yet more rickety apartment towers that will no doubt be ready to come down shortly after they are built.

Up to 5600 homes to surround Kellyville and Bella Vista metro stations

Megan Gorrey
By Megan Gorrey

October 30, 2019

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As many as 5600 homes will be constructed in buildings up to 21 storeys high around two new rail stations in Sydney’s north-west, under the government’s latest plans for the fast-growing area.

The Kellyville and Bella Vista station precinct proposals by the government’s development arm Landcom, released on Tuesday, show thousands of new dwellings will be spread across terraces and taller apartment blocks in the area, which will also include a town centre and new school.

The Bella Vista station precinct will include a town centre, school and thousands of homes in terraces and taller unit blocks.
The Bella Vista station precinct will include a town centre, school and thousands of homes in terraces and taller unit blocks.

The government is pushing ahead with its plans for more intensive development in suburbs typically marked by low-rise housing along the $7.3 billion metro train line after it opened in May.

In Bella Vista, the proposal includes a town centre surrounded by between 2905 and 3822 new dwellings in terrace houses and apartment towers reaching 68 metres high, or about 21 storeys.


New plans being prepared for the first time by local councils will help shape Sydney's suburbs over the next two decades.

Sydney councils push to protect suburbs from high-rise apartments

There are also plans for a primary school for up to 1000 children, shops, new parks and community facilities.

The Kellyville precinct will include between 1410 and 1804 homes in buildings up to 50 metres high, or 15 storeys.

*Five per cent of the dwellings at both sites will be affordable homes available for low to middle income earners, the plans reveal.

The two areas are expected to eventually house 13,486 people and provide 7780 potential new jobs.

Under the plans, the first 200 residential units will be built in each area in 2023.

The Bella Vista precinct – not expected to be completed until 2045 – includes a high-density commercial and mixed use precinct around the metro station.

The tallest buildings will be erected along Old Windsor Road and the northern side of Celebration Drive, and “can serve as an anchor to existing buildings in Norwest Business Park”, the plans say.

“Building heights would then transition to lower scale built form in the central and northern parts of the Bella Vista precinct.”

Landcom’s 10-year plan for the corridor includes 11,000 dwellings around six of the rail stations – Tallawong, Kellyville, Bella Vista, Norwest, Castle Hill Showground and Cherrybrook – on the 36-kilometre Metro Northwest line from Chatswood to Rouse Hill within a decade.


Sydney population

As Sydney grows, the challenge of housing an extra 1.3 million people is upon us

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the government rezoned the Kellyville and Bella Vista sites in December 2017 to deliver new homes and jobs next to public transport.

“Kellyville and Bella Vista are on the doorstep of world-class public transport that will transform the region.

“We need a range of different types of housing to meet the needs of a growing and changing population so a mixture of housing supported by open space and the infrastructure is important,” he said.

The deputy mayor of the Hills Shire Council, Reena Jethi, said high-density developments created “a lot of stress on the roads” and those new areas needed to be “balanced and in sync” with the shire.

The draft plans are on public exhibition until November 26.

Megan Gorrey

Megan Gorrey is the Urban Affairs reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Bella Vista station precinct will include a town centre, school and thousands of homes in terraces and taller unit blocks.




120 PROPERTIES to be forcibly acquired for $20B METRO West Rail Line

MORE TUNNELLING and ANGST for the INNER WEST not only from WestCONnex under Lilyfield and Rozelle but from Five Dock to the Bays Precinct for METRO WEST!

MEANWHILE Sydney Olympic Park will have no major transport upgrade until 2030.

Melrose Park and Wentworth Point are exploding

10,000 more residents for Melrose Park; to impact neighbouring Ryde Electorate and inadequate infrastructure


‘VALUE CAPTURE’ to create the demand for services every two minutes. 

MTR Consortium is a Hong Kong Developer, and what it will mean are thousands of high-rise apartments built around the Metro Stations!

To benefit developers, their overseas clients and perhaps their Minions in Macquarie Street … to our detriment …

WHAT will happen to our existing Australian built trains, stations and rolling stock?

Will our stations be sold off for even more development?

Then will NSW INC sell off the new stations to more overseas investors looking to higher returns from ticket price increases?

DID you figure this would happen following the March 2019 Election?

JOHN SIDOTI the Member for Drummoyne appears to have had the benefit of what can be described as ‘insider trading’ … to date Mr Sidoti has only been referred to ICAC …

“Mr Ming is vice president of Southern Han International, a property development firm building $70 million residential towers in Rouse Hill near the newly completed Metro West train line.

Mr Sidoti has declared a 10 per cent interest in the Rouse Hill development through a family company called JAFS Investment Trust.

In a statement, Mr Sidoti denied any wrongdoing.”


SEARCH CAAN WEBSITE to find out more about John Sidoti, and compulsory acquisition and land amalgamation …

120 properties to be forcibly acquired for $20b Metro West rail line

Matt O'Sullivan
By Matt O’Sullivan

October 21, 2019

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Almost 120 properties will be forcibly acquired for construction of a $20 billion-plus metro rail line from Parramatta to the central city, which is now slated to be opened by 2030, about two years later than expected.

As foreshadowed by The Sydney Morning Herald, transport officials on Monday began informing owners of properties flagged for acquisition after the Berejiklian government announced the locations of seven stations along the Sydney Metro West rail line.

Media companies launch campaign against government

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and transport minister Andrew Constance announce seven new stations to be built for Sydney’s West Metro.Media companies launch campaign against government

Media companies launch campaign against government

The stations will be built at Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock and the Bays Precinct at Rozelle.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new line – most of which will run through tunnels – would more than double the rail capacity between Parramatta and Sydney’s CBD.

“This crucial project will reduce the journey between Parramatta and the city to around 20 minutes with trains running every two minutes,” she said.

The travel time for a journey from the CBD to Olympic Park will be 14 minutes.

Of the 116 properties to be acquired for the project, 23 are residential and 93 commercial businesses. The Bays Precinct will be the first site on which work will start because that is where tunnelling will commence. Tunnel boring machines are expected to start digging the line in 2022.

The government has yet to make a final decision on building metro stations at Pyrmont in the inner city, or Rydalmere, east of Parramatta, which have been dubbed “optional stations”.

It is also finalising the site of the station in Sydney’s CBD, which is expected to be under Hunter Street, linking Wynyard and Martin Place.

A turn-back site for trains will be needed in the central city. While that could be built at the CBD station, the government has not ruled out Zetland in the inner south as the site of a turn-back or a station.

Asked why the opening of the line was about two years later than expected, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said it could be completed earlier than 2030 but “we are setting a realistic expectation and, as always, this government will set about bettering it”.

So far, the Berejiklian government has committed $6.4 billion to Metro West over a four-year period. It declined to put a cost on the entire project, citing the need to retain “competitive tension” in the bidding process for contracts to build the project.


An artist's impression of an underground metro train station planned for Westmead

Sydney Metro approval clears way for exact locations of train stations

A large stabling yard and operations centre for the single-deck, driverless metro trains will be built at the Clyde and Rosehill industrial estate bounded by James Ruse Drive, the M4 motorway and Unwin and Shirley streets.

Metro West is effectively the third stage of the city’s metro rail network. The first stage known as Metro Northwest from Rouse Hill to Chatswood opened in May, and the second stage under Sydney Harbour and on to the CBD and Sydenham and Bankstown is due to be completed in 2024.

Labor leader Jodi McKay said the new timeline for completion of the project represented a “major broken promise” by the government.

“The tunnel boring machines are running a year late, the project at least two years late – and there is a massive funding black hole,” she said.

An artist's impression of Bella Vista station.
An artist’s impression of Bella Vista station.CREDIT:NSW GOVERNMENT

“With Parramatta light rail stage two all but axed, Olympic Park will have no major transport upgrade until 2030. Areas like Melrose Park and Wentworth Point are exploding and people have moved there on faith.”

Sydney Metro West station locations

Westmead: The eastern side of Hawkesbury Road, south of the existing Westmead station. The new station will have one entrance on Hawkesbury Road.

Parramatta: On the block bound by George, Macquarie, Church and Smith streets with an entrance on Horwood Place.

Sydney Olympic Park: To the south of the existing train station. It will sit to the east of Olympic Boulevard with the main station entrances between Herb Elliot Avenue and Figtree Drive, and off Dawn Fraser Avenue.

North Strathfield: Adjacent to the existing train station. New metro platforms will sit alongside the existing station and entry to the station would be from a new entrance on Queen Street.

Burwood North: At the corner of Burwood and Parramatta roads, with entrances on both the north and south sides of Parramatta Road.

Five Dock: Located off Great North Road, between East Street and then at the corner of Second Avenue and Waterview Street. The station entrance will be at Fred Kelly Place off Great North Road.

Bays Precinct: Located between Glebe Island and White Bay Power Station with an entrance to the south of White Bay.

Matt O’Sullivan

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.