NSW government could open flagship rail project in stages

“If we decide we can split it in half, or in fact we’re not going from Chatswood to Sydenham until the Bankstown section is complete, well that’s a lost opportunity, lost productivity, times of lost rides that will likely be unnecessary,” Elliott mentioned.

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“A project of this size which has been weighed down by COVID, which has been weighed down by industrial action, which has been weighed down by the increased cost of construction, we have to keep all options open.”

He said the government would make an announcement “in due course”, but was committed to delivering the project in full.

The 15 kilometer twin tunnels depart from Chatswood, under Sydney Harbor and into the CBD before heading southwest towards Bankstown via Sydenham, Dulwich Hill and Canterbury.

Opposition Leader Chris Minns said he fears the New South Wales government has lost budget control over its massive infrastructure pipeline.

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“My big concern at the moment is that the Premier of NSW does not have control of the budget, and much needed infrastructure for Western Sydney, especially those living west of Parramatta , are on the chopping block and may not go forward now,” he said.

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said he would leave the decision of whether or not to organize the opening of the new metro to those working on the project.

“What’s a good idea is what works, and we’ll take expert advice on that,” he said.

“There will naturally be times in public transport projects, especially when you build them like this, there will be downsides from time to time.”

Sydney Metro chief executive Peter Regan said opening the project in stages would not result in any additional cost to the original plan.

“No additional infrastructure is required. It is designed to be able to work in Sydenham and Bankstown. So if we cannot open one section earlier than the other, no additional infrastructure is needed to do so,” he said.

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