Not enough time for community to assess line closure reshuffle
21 June 2018
In an attempt to soften-up the community in the lead up to a State election the State Government has reshuffled rail line closures in its Preferred Infrastructure Report for the conversion of the Sydenham to Bankstown line from heavy rail to a metro. However, it has not given the community enough time to comment on the new report.
“The community has been given less than a month to respond to a set of documents that are several thousand pages long. This is just not enough time! If the government were fair dinkum about community consultation it would extend this period by another month,” said Peter Olive, Sydenham to Bankstown Alliance Spokesperson.
“The new rail line shutdown impacts will include two weeks at Christmas, eight additional weekend closures and a final total line closure of up to six months. In a new approach to converting the line each station will be also closed for two months,”
“We fear there will be a construction blowout. The government knows the timescales of construction are unknown and “the overall duration of construction will require management”.”
“Many of the impacts of the original EIS have not changed. Commuters West of Bankstown will still have to change
transport modes; seating will be more than halved on the Metro trains; all commuters will need to change trains at Central to reach the City Circle; in some cases the Metro will be slower than existing services and commuters from St Peters and Erskineville will be shunted to another line. The metro even fails to include another station between Waterloo and Sydenham.”
“The Bankstown line serves as a relief valve for other lines in the Sydney rail system. It’s conversion to a metro will have consequences for the entire system.”
“The government should be building new rail services to suburbs that don’t currently have them rather than converting existing commuter rail services from one rail mode to another rail mode”, he said.