Construction for Sydney Metro West project “welcome” in The Bays
by GRACE JOHNSON
Construction for the Sydney Metro West project in The Bays as part of the plan to connect Greater Parramatta to Sydney CBD has been welcomed as a necessary investment in public transport.
The NSW Government announced last week that the two tunnel boring machines (TBMs), Daphne and Beatrice, are on their way from the Five Dock Metro Station site to Burwood North Station site, and will re-launch in the coming weeks.
According to a statement, more than 250 precast tunnel segments will be transported each day from The Bays, through the newly built tunnels beneath Iron Cove to Five Dock.
Transport Minister Jo Haylen said, “Our Metro Review has ensured a new and improved Sydney Metro West will be delivered for the people of NSW, with a focus on driving housing supply.
“The Bays is in full tunnelling mode and teams here are laser-focused on constructing this new metro line that will deliver unrivalled public transport for all of Sydney.”
Construction for the underground railway service began in 2020 and was conceived in a bid to increase housing supply.
The 24-kilometre metro line has confirmed at Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock, The Bays, Pyrmont and Hunter Street in the Sydney CBD.
The Bays was identified by the NSW Government as one of the priority precincts to be rezoned, having never had a rail service before.
Member for Balmain Kobi Shetty expressed her support for The Bays incoming metro station, saying it was a welcome move away from increasing toll roads.
Speaking with City Hub, she said, “I wholeheartedly welcome state government investment in public transport. Expanding public transport infrastructure including the new Bays Metro Station is really positive for our community.”
“As a global city, Sydney should already have world class public transport – rather than having blown billions on more and more toll roads.”
Referencing the traffic chaos that followed the opening of the Rozelle Interchange, Ms Shetty said, “We know that toll roads do not fix traffic congestion, and that has never been more apparent than after the opening of the Rozelle Interchange.”
“It’s fantastic to see investment in public transport so there are real alternatives to private car travel.”
Current rezoning proposals “totally undemocratic”
However, regarding the rezoning proposal in The Bays West, Ms Shetty said the current proposal is “totally undemocratic”.
Speaking to City Hub, she said that though we undoubtedly need more affordable housing, the government needs to ensure development is done in a sustainable way and involves local councils.
Many councils across Sydney have spoken up about the Minns government’s plan to override local council planning controls, with Local Government NSW also insisting that the government include local councils in solving the housing crisis.
Ms Shetty said, “Time and time again we see that whenever the state government seeks to cut local councils out of the planning process, it is local communities who pay the price.”
“The current rezoning proposal is totally undemocratic, would fast-track development and override heritage protections and local planning laws – placing control in the hands of a developer-friendly state government.”
Referencing once more the havoc wreaked by the opening of the Rozelle Interchange, Ms Shetty emphasised, “There are outstanding questions about the reliability of existing traffic modelling for the Bays West Precinct, with unrealistically low traffic projections.”
Many locals in Rozelle have also called for increased ferry services to help relieve extended commutes as a result of congested roads.
“With our community already facing gridlock following the opening of the Rozelle Interchange, we must approach proposals to increase density thoughtfully.”