Penrith council calls out government on Western Sydney Airport train infrastructure

Six years out from the opening of Western Sydney Airport and vital information on where additional train stations will be built in western Sydney to service the airport is still unknown.

Penrith Council's mayor Ross Fowler has called for Sydney Metro to come forward with the other station locations, some two years after the federal and state government committed to building a new Metro line connecting the airport with the existing western rail line at St Mary's, to be operational when the airport opens in 2026.

"All that the government has delivered so far is uncertainty. We are being kept in the dark on important details of the train line and are very concerned that without appropriate station locations the communities of western Sydney will miss out on the promised jobs, housing and economic outcomes," Cr Fowler said.

"Without this timely information, it is impossible for council to adequately plan for the future of our city."

A community survey and flyer released last week by Sydney Metro only heightens the uncertainty around the project with only three train stations committed; St Marys, the Airport and the Aerotropolis, Cr Fowler said.

"Our region needs a public transport network that can service our growing population and connect residents to jobs, education, health services and housing of the future. A train line is the first step, but a train line is only effective when people have a train station to access it," Cr Fowler said.

"Our community knows rail will change everything and has been promised a 30-minute city with jobs closer to home, and easier access to the new opportunities created through the airport and Aerotropolis by 2026. Without a firm commitment on additional train stations now, it's hard to believe the government can deliver on these promises."

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said the Blue Mountains Council had been sounding the alarm on the airport since the very beginning.

"It treats our community as second class when the federal government intends to dump a 24/7 airport at our doorstep while providing no curfew and refusing to consult about the flight paths until it is too late," he said.

"This would not be done to the eastern and northern suburbs. We are being railroaded into an environmental disaster and the strategy of going along with the government won't work. Strong advocacy is what is needed. It was always what was needed.

"The uncertainty with the rail line is unacceptable. Clearly, we are going to end up with massive car and truck movements instead. That will further the environmental mess," he said.

A Sydney Metro spokeswoman said the project was complex.

"Sydney Metro is currently undertaking detailed design work for the Greater West project, which will become the new transport spine for the region," she said.

"Sydney Metro will update the community on station locations as soon as it has more to say."

Infrastructure Australia this week released a prioritised list of nationally significant investments. The Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, which provides public transport connections to Western Sydney Airport, is considered a priority initiative, which is the lowest priority of the four categories. High priority projects the M4 Motorway upgrade, a high-frequency rail connection between Chatswood and Bankstown via Sydney CBD, and Western Sydney Airport are the top priorities.

The Forum on Western Sydney Airport has been approached for comment.

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