More bus use 'short-sighted': NSW Premier


New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell has condemned the idea of using more buses to replace Sydney's proposed North West Rail Link as “short-sighted”

May 8, 2012

New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell has condemned the
idea
of using more buses to replace Sydney's proposed North West Rail Link as "short-sighted".

Following a stymied attempt to get the rail link prioritized, O’Farrell
has taken
aim at the Federal Government, which he says wants more buses on congested roads instead of the rail infrastructure.

"Anyone who lives in Sydney’s fast growing north west knows what a short-sighted idea it is to suggest buses should replace the rail link," O’Farrell says.

"The idea of putting more buses onto an already crowded road system just beggars belief."

O’Farrell’s comments follow Infrastructure Australia’s announcement yesterday that despite "some good work" on behalf of the State Government in developing the rail link’s proposal,
the link
was still not the
highest priority.

National Infrastructure Coordinator Michael Deegan confirms that the NSW Government's analysis of the North West Rail Link is still being considered for the national infrastructure priority list, but says a compelling case has still not been made.

"At a deeper level, we also have a question about whether this project is obviously the highest priority project in Sydney," Deegan says.

"The NSW government submission provided only preliminary economic analysis and that analysis shows that on the Government's own figures the project is of marginal economic benefit."

Deegan says the submission also doesn't address
rail network capacity problems from Chatswood into the CBD .

"We have to remember that we are talking about a project estimated to cost $8.5 billion," Deegan says.

"It is not a small amount of money."

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