UDIA welcomes the NSW Premier’s announcement of a new $500 million commitment in the 2022-23 NSW Budget as part of the NSW Government’s Fast Rail vision designed to implement improvements to cut delays and make faster travel times a reality.
While the funding will go to the first stage of the Northern Corridor, the Premier said the NSW Government’s Fast Rail vision could slash travel times between Sydney and Newcastle to one hour, Sydney and Gosford to 25 minutes and Sydney to Wollongong in just 45 minutes.
In our 2019 Strategy “Unlocking to the Illawarra Shoalhaven”, we called for fast rail between Sydney and Nowra to support the growth of this region, which needs to accommodate a further 100,000 people by 2041.
Fast rail infrastructure has long been promised between Sydney and Wollongong, with a fast rail link proposed in the government’s Action for Transport, 1998. Whilst it has been long time coming, UDIA supports this initial investment to better link Wollongong and Sydney
Recent research commissioned by UDIA, and undertaken by the University of Sydney, concluded that cities must be built around access. This fast rail proposal will strengthen the Wollongong CBD which has experienced significant apartment growth in recent years, and which is also set to continue. It will enhance 15-minute and 30-minute city principles by allowing residents easier access to work options both in the Illawarra Shoalhaven and throughout Greater Sydney.
The fast rail is designed to improve connections as part of the Government’s six cities vision according to Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport, Rob Stokes and will support the growth of jobs especially those in the health sector, as well as future science and engineering-based jobs at the proposed Port Kembla Hydrogen Hub.
“The fast rail has the potential to establish Wollongong as a premier city in the Greater Sydney Region and it is great to see the NSW Government take the initial steps to deliver this key city shaping infrastructure that will benefit the Illawarra Shoalhaven,” said Simon Kersten, Chapter Chair of UDIA Illawarra.
UDIA urges Government start immediately on this significant infrastructure project and for further work to occur on the option to better link Wollongong with Nowra with improved rail services.
Deanna Lane 0416 295 898 or email@example.com.