Scorecard barely registers

A north-western Sydney public transport activist group has released its scorecard on election promises leading up to NSW’s March 26 poll

Scorecard barely registers
Scorecard barely registers

By David Goeldner | February 22, 2011

A scorecard released by north-western Sydney’s Hills Transport Working Group reveals a series of unanswered questions about public transport promises heading into the NSW election.

Hills Transport Working Group Chairman James Fiander says policy documents currently in the public domain highlights major gaps in the promises of plans to deliver a long overdue North West Rail Link.

The scorecard also reveals a lack of strategy for bus improvement and expansion in the Hills district, a catchment of one million Sydney-bound commuters stretching from Parramatta north to Richmond and the Hawkesbury.

Fiander’s Group has focussed on the on again off again promises of a railway line for the district, which impacts on feeder bus transport.

"The Hills has been promised a railway line in one form or another for decades and now, more than ever, residents deserve some transparency on what political parties are actually promising," Fiander says.

"We have found that no party has a fully costed plan for the North West Rail Link and this is a big concern.

"No assumptions are available for where the money will come from and no firm commitments have been published by the Labor or Liberal Parties that the line will be publically owned."

Fiander fears a privately owned rail line.

"What we could see is a privately owned line, like the Airport Line, where passengers pay up to $19.60 each way versus $7.80 for the rest of the CityRail network," he says.

He says there are also gaps in project delivery timetables.

"Residents believe it is unacceptable that commuters in Rouse Hill would need to wait until 2024 before the first train rolls in under Labor but, similarly, we only have a commitment from the Liberals to start within the next four years – no date for completion.

"If we were to take the timetable for delivery in our state’s transport blueprint and apply it to the Liberal timeline for commencement, it would not be until 2022 that a Liberal-delivered train rolls into Rouse Hill."

Fiander says the Labor Party had committed to a route and number of stations.

"This key information is missing from the Liberal and Greens election platforms."

Fiander believes it is incumbent on all parties to provide policy detail.

"Hills voters deserve to know what we are voting for and we have written to the three major parties calling on them to make this information available," he says.

"We will be publishing a revised scorecard ahead of the March 26 poll with the responses we receive."

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