House debates

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Statements by Members

Sydney Electorate: Sydney Metro

10:48 am

Photo of Tanya PlibersekTanya Plibersek (Sydney, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Education and Training) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to take the opportunity to raise the need for an additional metro station on a line that the New South Wales state government is already constructing. The Sydney Metro project is already underway, but there must be an extra station in the Green Square area in my electorate between the Waterloo and Sydenham stations, which are already planned for this track.

The New South Wales Minister for Transport and Roads recently revealed that there is already one change to be made to this project—a $200 million change to the Sydney Metro project—as a direct result of an unsolicited request by Macquarie Bank. I've been told by the same minister that, during the planning stages of the Chatswood to Sydenham metro line, it was found that a station in the Green Square area would have limited commuter and economic benefit. Somehow, the department of transport and roads does not consider the fact that this area is set to become Australia's most densely populated suburb a significant enough reason to put more public transport into the place. There really needs to be an extra metro stop put in.

We expect 61,000 people to be living in the Green Square area by 2030. There are 30½ thousand new residential dwellings in Rosebery, Green Square and Victoria Park Parade. Infrastructure needs to be built to accommodate the people who are already moving in and the thousands of additional people who will move in in coming months and years. I chose to live close to the centre of the city. I love it. I don't mind density. What I say is: when we are building these new apartments and new townhouses, we have to make sure there is good-quality open space, there are good-quality schools and medical facilities, and, of course, there is public transport. That's because if we're not putting in the public transport now the resentment people will have about not being able to get to work and not being able to move around their community will become very acute.

Green Square is set to become more densely populated than London or New York. The Green Square heavy rail station that already exists on the route from the airport to the city gets so crowded at peak hour sometimes that they actually shut the doors. They don't let more people onto the platform, because it's dangerous. They have to let a few trains go through before it's safe enough for commuters to get back on the platform. When we already have public transport at capacity, when there are thousands of additional apartments to go in and when it is obviously still possible to change this planned metro route—because changes have been made for Macquarie Bank—why won't the state government listen to local government, state MPs, and local residents and businesses and build a new station? (Time expired)