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Media Release: Labor’s Western Sydney Rail Announcement Has a Huge Black Hole in the Numbers

Labor’s Western Sydney Rail Announcement Has a Huge Black Hole in the Numbers


Labor is playing catch up with its so-called promises on Western Sydney Airport Rail – and there is a huge black hole in their numbers.


The Turnbull Government and the Berejiklian Government announced in March this year a clear, well-developed plan for rail to Western Sydney Airport – that we will build rail from St Marys to the future Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis via Western Sydney Airport.


The two governments will share 50:50 in the cost of the project, estimated in the Scoping Study to be around $7 billion. We have stated our joint objective to have rail to the airport by the time it opens in 2026.


This will be the first stage of what is ultimately planned to be a North South Rail Line running from Macarthur in the south west, through the airport and St Marys to connect with the new Sydney Metro North West at Schofields in the north west (when it is extended from its current terminus at Cudgegong Road Station, recently renamed Tallawong Station).


Bill Shorten told the NSW Labor Conference on Sunday 1 July that federal Labor will spend $3 billion – and for this they are somehow going to deliver rail from Macarthur in the south west to Schofields in the north west, and they are also going to build rail from Leppington to the Airport.


But there is a huge black hole in Labor’s numbers. According to the detailed Scoping Study into Western Sydney Rail, released by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments in March this year, rail from Leppington to the airport would cost around $6 billion, and rail from Macarthur in the south to the airport, on to St Marys and then further north to Schofields would cost $15-20 billion. 


Mr Shorten’s plan will therefore cost at least $22 to $27 billion. How is he going to fill this $19 to $24 billion black hole? As usual, Labor just can’t get their sums right.


Even if Mr Shorten is assuming the state government will match this commitment, he is short by $16 to $21 billion.


The facts are that Labor has a hopeless track record of over-promising and under-delivering on rail in New South Wales. In 16 years of State Government from 1995 to 2011, Labor promised 12 rail lines and delivered only half of one.


By contrast since the Coalition came to government in New South Wales in 2011, we have completed the South West Rail Link; we are well on track to deliver the North West Metro, with services to begin next year; work is underway on Sydney Metro City and Southwest; and plans are well advanced for Metro West and for rail to Western Sydney Airport.


Just like on every other issue, Bill Shorten is unbelieva-Bill when it comes to Western Sydney rail.


By contrast, the Turnbull Government and Berejiklian Government are getting on with delivering Western Sydney’s future transport infrastructure today.


This includes the Turnbull Government’s $5.3 billion investment in Western Sydney Airport; the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, delivering road upgrades across Western Sydney; and our commitment to the first stage of the North South Rail Link from St Marys to the future Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis, via Western Sydney Airport.


We are getting on with delivering the Airport – only last week, contracts worth over $300 million were signed by WSA Co meaning that earthworks will start on the site before the end of the year.


The Turnbull Government has signed a City Deal with the NSW Government and eight Western Sydney Councils, setting out our coordinated plan for Western Sydney Airport, Western Sydney infrastructure, attracting business and generating jobs. 


The Labor Party is abysmal at delivering infrastructure for Western Sydney. Only the Turnbull Government, working with the Berejiklian Government, can be trusted to deliver the infrastructure that Western Sydney needs. 


Across the country the Turnbull Government is delivering an unprecedented $75 billion, 10-year rolling program of infrastructure investments. Projects such as Metronet in Perth, the Melbourne Airport Rail Link and Beerburrum to Nambour in South East Queensland demonstrate the Turnbull Government’s commitment to nationwide investment in urban rail.