The first stage of the Parramatta Light Rail, from Westmead to Carlingford, has received planning approval with construction set to begin within months.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance, Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts and Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee in Parramatta to confirm the approval of the $1 billion stage 1 section of the project.
Stage 1 will link Westmead to Carlingford via Parramatta CBD and Camellia, connecting destinations including the Westmead Precinct, the new Western Sydney Stadium, the new Powerhouse Museum, three Western Sydney University campuses and new communities at Camellia and Telopea.
“Parramatta Light Rail will connect major Western Sydney precincts for the first time and make it possible for people to ‘turn up and go’ to employment, cultural, entertainment and sports destinations,” Ms. Berejiklian said.
According to the NSW Government, Parramatta Light Rail will create close to 5000 jobs and connect communities along the route, with a service every 7.5 minutes in peak periods.
Mr Constance said approval of stage 1 means construction on the project is on track to begin by the end of 2018.
“Parramatta Light Rail is part of the NSW Government’s $80 billion infrastructure pipeline, which includes the largest transport infrastructure program in Australia with $43 billion of investment over the next four years,” Mr Constance said.
The NSW Government has allocated $1 billion to Stage 1 of the project and the final cost will be known and released when contacts are signed.
The construction and operation contracts are set to be awarded in the third quarter of 2018.
The NSW Government said a final business case for a planned Stage 2, which connects the Parramatta CBD to Ermington, Melrose Park, Wentworth Point and Sydney Olympic Park, is also due to be completed by the end of 2018.
Parramatta Light Rail services are expected to begin in 2023.