SYDNEY METRO $1.37bn Chatswood to Bankstown Contract Awarded

Sydney Metro $1.37bn Chatswood to Bankstown Contract Awarded



The NSW Government has selected CPB Contractors and UGL to deliver the line-wide works package for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project, Australia’s biggest public transport project.

The contract of $1.37 billion will be an unincorporated joint venture of the two CIMIC Group companies and includes major rail systems in the new twin 15km Sydney Metro tunnels from Chatswood to Sydenham.

Contractors will also expand the existing Sydney Metro Trains Facility at Rouse Hill to accommodate 37 new trains.

The new Sydney Metro Trains Facility South at Marrickville will also be part of the contract, as well as tunnel ventilation, mechanical and electrical system work for seven underground stations, and 11 new substations to power the Metro from Chatswood to Bankstown.

Related: Sydney Central Station’s $955m Urban Transformation

Sydney Metro

31km of underground railway track to be laid in the twin railway tunnels from Chatswood to Sydenham.
This is the seventh Sydney Metro City & Southwest contract to be awarded with the budget ranging between $11.5 billion to $12.5 billion.“The project combines the proven rail-sector expertise within our construction company CPB Contractors and our asset solutions provider UGL to deliver an end-to-end result, covering design, construction and commissioning of the project,” CIMIC Group chief executive Michael Wright said.

CPB Contractors is currently delivering contracts on Sydney Metro City & Southwest and Sydney Metro Northwest, WestConnex M4E and New M5.

UGL’s work includes tunnel fit-outs for the Sydney Metro Northwest and Epping to Chatswood projects.

Works are due to commence this year between Chatswood and Bankstown.

A total of 66km of railway across the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project is scheduled to be delivered by 2024.

JOHN MENADUE. Sydney Metro: A Forty Billion Dollar Deception?



JOHN MENADUE. Sydney Metro: A Forty Billion Dollar Deception?


Like all our big cities, Sydney needs better public transport. The Government’s responsibility is to secure this with the best system, for the best price.

But as a minimum, new investments cannot be allowed to threaten the productivity and growth potential of our existing public transport system and its commuters.

Sydney Metro Rail is starting to show clear signs of failing us on all these counts.

The Royal Commission into Banking shows us how ‘official’ stories can change dramatically once confronted with a process where evidence can be compelled and witnesses protected.

On its first day in government after the next NSW election the new government should establish an enquiry into the developing rail mess.  

We are in great need of this process to publicly review Sydney’s mega transport projects – especially Metro Rail, a project which has cost perhaps more than $40 billion already, with no guarantees it won’t mutate into new phases costing further tens of billions.

The NSW government’s Metro asked us to believe it would do more, do it better, do it faster and safer than Sydney’s existing CityRail train system. Breezy statements like “just turn up and go, a train every two minutes” were thrown about.

On this basis, Metro tunnels were bored with diameters too small for current CityRail trains to use. Parliamentary debates pointing out the stupidity of this decision are on the Hansard record. Yet it went ahead anyway.

Metro’s network then expanded still further, at a cost of further unspecified billions, without any credible published scrutiny[i]. This second phase is now tunnelling under Sydney Harbour, possibly taking up the last viable under-harbour tunnel path for CityRail.

In so doing, it may have ‘forever stymie(d) major development of Sydney’s CityRail system’ – as warned explicitly by the eminent and independent Christie report on Sydney transport of 2010[ii].

Is this the price of success?

*Some of Metro’s shine is starting to wear off: promised service levels now appear less wonderful than first thought; costs have risen; delays and line closures will be more consequential than first anticipated; some all-important ribbon-cuttings won’t occur until after the next election. Metro users will still have to transfer to access the wider CityRail network.

Perhaps this is why the State Government has now changed tack to pushing out good news about the very CityRail system it is walling off with Metro.

Latest reporting talks up an $880 million CityRail train control system which can deliver ‘a train every two minutes or less’. The new system, the government enthuses, brings ‘Paris and London technology to CityRail’[iii].

This shift to talking up CityRail may just have given Metro’s game away.

Sydney’s CityRail has had a modern, automated train control system under trial for over a decade now[iv] – this development flowed from the special inquiry into the 2003 Waterfall train crash which killed 7 people. In 2014, the State authorised CityRail to pursue development of an even more advanced system[v] – the same sort of system Metro is to employ to achieve its much-vaunted ‘turn up and go’ service levels.

CityRail appears to have had a solution on trial all along to achieve Metro’s objectives for a lot less money and in a manner that would expand Sydney’s rail network – not hobble it. Published research suggests just as many if not more commuters might be moved by CityRail on this basis[vi].

Despite this, the State government appears to have agreed to Metro without any assessment of a competing CityRail business case, or even a quick scan of options.

It’s time for facts.

Perhaps  the NSW government just made a decision to ignore CityRail’s cheaper and possibly better solution for grubby ideological reasons: setting up a walled-off, standalone rail system to lock out organised labour and sell off to the banks later.

Perhaps CityRail’s potential was just never made plain to elected officials because of factional fights in the transport bureaucracy.

Perhaps our independent infrastructure advisories should have spoken up.

Perhaps there is some unreported technological flaw preventing CityRail from matching or bettering Metro claims.

As with the banks, only a properly-constituted inquiry will compel the truth.

The need for this inquiry goes beyond politics or academic curiosity: if we leave Metro unexamined, Sydney’s liveability and economic performance is at risk.

If heavy rail’s future functionality is imperilled by Metro, we must know that before we spend more billions pouring concrete and digging more little Metro tunnels. If not, we risk condemning our entire public transport network to deeper dysfunction which may prove vastly more expensive or even impossible to retrofit later.

A new government should authorise an inquiry into Metro and other secret mega-projects on its first day in power.

The same goes for the Commonwealth, which has already thrown billions of taxpayer money at this project, with no questions asked.

All major infrastructure projects should be examined against credible alternative solutions for delivering on agreed objectives well before the infrastructure club is allowed anywhere near the public chequebook.

Here are the written words of Gladys Berejiklian, the responsible Minister in her report in 2012 regarding the merits of Metro compared to upgrading and expanding CityRail:

(Metro) does not deliver significant benefits to the wider rail network’.

‘(Metro) would create a separate system that would divert funding away from service improvements on the existing rail network and only provide benefits to customers who use the new line’.

‘In the Sydney context an independent metro system would deliver few benefits in terms of service enhancement, capacity improvements or better operating efficiency on the existing rail network’.

‘A dedicated metro-style system would not maximise the use of the existing rail assets.’

Extract from page 24 of Sydney Rail Futures 2012 – foreword by then-Minister for Transport, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian P[vii] 

Members of the infrastructure club should keep their diaries free for this inquiry.

Infrastructure, both rail and road, is becoming an albatross around the neck of the NSW Premier and former Minister for Transport.


[ii] [ii]




[vi] Four whole years ago, ABC fact checker established that given the same service frequency and train control, the existing CityRail trains would move thousands more people an hour on the proposed Metro line than the new Metro trains.

Yet it appears no comparative business case was even assessed, much less published:





JOHN AUSTEN – Inquiry into Sydney Metro (Part 1)




JOHN AUSTEN – Inquiry into Sydney Metro (Part 1)


We are told Sydney Metro will overcome capacity constraints on Sydney’s rail network. 

This is false. 

Only a public inquiry can reveal the truth and advise on what to do.

This is the first of two articles following-up John Menadue’s call for a Sydney Metro inquiry.

It cites further evidence that Metro is:

  1. Inferior to Sydney trains;
  2. In the wrong place;
  3. Disastrous for Western Sydney.

A later article will deal with why an inquiry into these matters is needed, and what the inquiry should cover.

Metro is inferior to Sydney trains

While Sydney Metro is presented as ‘rapid transit’ it is not.  Most of its characteristics –

66km length, long distance between stations etc. – are not rapid transit.

Sydney Metro’s only rapid transit characteristic is few seats on trains.  This makes it very inferior to Sydney Trains for commuters.

The reasons given to the public for Metro boil down to a claim it can carry more people per line – sitting and standing – than Sydney trains.

It supposedly can run 30 trains per hour conveying 40,000 people compared with 20 Sydney Trains carrying 24,000 people.  This is said to reflect it’s 3 door single-deck carriages not needing as much station stopping time – dwell-time – as double-deck trains.

However, those claims are false.

Metro has a lower capacity per train which is not offset by its (theoretically) shorter dwell time.

Advice to NSW agencies was Sydney Trains lines today can carry more than 24,000 people per hour. If enhanced as announced by the State Government’s ‘Paris and London’ train control technology, Sydney Trains could run at least 24 trains per hour carrying at least people.  Some media reports implied it could run 30 trains – which might be able to carry over 52,000 people.

Metro is in the wrong place

Rapid transit systems e.g. in London and Paris are usually in central city areas.  Short journeys are typical and short distances between stations are what attracts the passengers as they don’t have far to walk to those stations.

Sydney Metro is largely in the suburbs. The routes are therefore longer, and trains on those routes require plenty of seats – more than Metro offers.

Moreover, at least some Metro routes are very problematic.

The North West route requires ‘conversion’ of a vital Sydney Trains line – Epping-Chatswood.  This substantially reduces existing network capacity and hamstrings new services to Western Sydney, including to Badgerys Creek airport.

Advice to NSW was scathing about the idea of a North-West Metro.

The South West route requires ‘conversion’ of another vital Sydney Trains line – to Bankstown.  The route was chosen over better candidates such as to Kingsford Smith Airport and Infrastructure NSW’s recommendation – towards Parramatta.

The route across the harbour and CBD may be an even bigger problem.   In 2010 Sydney’s most respected railwayman, Ron Christie AM, expressed deep concerns about whether the route undermines the entire rail network.

Disaster for Western Sydney

The real effects of Metro are neither tunnelling triumphs nor the rail and road chaos coming in the 7-month closure of the Epping-Chatswood line followed by ‘all-out all-change’ at Chatswood for several years.

The effects will hit Western Sydney.  The Western Sydney rail ‘plan’, developed by State and Commonwealth officials, argued for at least three different rail networks – for passengers to change between possibly 4 trains to get to Badgerys Creek airport – was a first indication.  The ‘City Deal’ which opted for the wrong rail connection to the airport was the next sign.

The NSW Transport Minister’s rejection of a $3bn gift for Western Sydney rail was another.  His reason – new passengers would ‘overwhelm’ inner parts of the network – confirms Metro is reducing the effectiveness of the existing network (conversion of the Epping-Chatswood line cuts effective capacity on Sydney Trains’ lines near the CBD) and disadvantaging Western Sydney.

Compared with this the high-profile problems of light rail – cost blow-outs, construction delays, litigation against the State by affected businesses and contractors, CBD traffic problems and loan guarantees to keep the project going – are minor!

Can the situation be recovered – say by Metro and other trains sharing infrastructure – as suggested by Infrastructure NSW?  It is not obvious how.

As John Menadue said, Sydney Metro tunnels are too small for the commuter fleet.  This echoes Paris’ 19th century small tunnel experience, the problems of which started to be addressed 60 years ago by bigger tunnels taking both metro and commuter trains – at tremendous cost.


Public evidence is Metro isn’t motivated by transport needs or demands. If lack of capacity on the existing network is a problem, why further reduce that capacity? Why the small tunnels?

An oft repeated view is that Sydney ‘needs’ rapid transit – but that is a ‘solution’ looking for a ‘problem’.  The evidence is that successive NSW Governments searched for a place to start Metro – to ‘play trains’ – in preference to assessing transport needs and ignoring Metro effects.

Sydney’s north-west was a political move – a rail link to that area was an ironclad election promise.  However, it is one of the worst places for Metro’s quasi-rapid transit; a mistake compounded by small tunnel sizes and inappropriate routes for extension.

The Sydney Metro ‘solution’ is exacerbating and creating new transport problems.  It will divide Sydney and lead to booming car use especially in the Western suburbs.It must be urgently addressed.

The next article will show why a public inquiry is needed to untangle this mess.

John Austen is a happily retired former  senior official of Infrastructure Australia  living in Western Sydney.   Details are at


Major test for Sydney’s transport network from Epping to Chatswood rail line closure

WHO could possibly believe this closure will be anything other than UTTER CHAOS?

BECAUSE “the bus interchange” is still under construction … looks like it will be another three months before it is operational!

PARKING is at a premium at Macquarie Park Shopping Centre/Business Park/University with time restrictions, fees and fines.

The 13-kilometre Epping-to-Chatswood line opened in 2009 was a marvellous boon to the Macquarie Park/Ryde area connecting one to all over Sydney …

THIS line was the latest in the Heavy Rail Network … the first to be pulled apart by the LNP!  

It won the Sulman Award, the prestigious public architecture prize in 2010

Australian Institute of Architecture New South Wales Awards  … an elegant and innovative integration of engineering and architecture!

WHEN in opposition the LNP in 2011 prior to the NSW Election proposed to pull it apart for the NWRL!


Major test looms for Sydney’s transport network from rail line closure


Gabby Fernandez’s daily commute from the St George area in Sydney’s south to Macquarie University in the north usually takes her 90 minutes.

After the Epping-to-Chatswood rail line is closed on Sunday for seven months, she expects it to take her at least two hours because she will have to switch from train to bus at St Leonards.

Arts student Gabby Fernandez expects her journey time from St George to Macquarie University to increase significantly.
Arts student Gabby Fernandez expects her journey time from St George to Macquarie University to increase significantly.Photo: Nick Moir

“I’m not going to drive. Parking here is a nightmare,” the first-year arts student said.

The temporary shutdown to allow the line to be converted to carry single-deck metro trains will be the biggest jolt to Sydney’s transport network since new bus timetables and routes in the CBD were put in place in 2015 ahead of the construction of the $2.1 billion light rail line.

The 13-kilometre Epping-to-Chatswood line opened in 2009 but will now become part of the $8.3 billion Sydney Metro North West line which will extend to Rouse Hill.


The closure will force up to 20,000 commuters a day to catch replacement buses or drive.

It will put pressure on already congested local roads, especially in and around Macquarie Park, and has required a rejig of timetables and services for the wider rail and bus networks.

The real test of the transport changes – and commuters’ patience – will come in just over two weeks on October 15 when students return from school holidays.

The real test will begin when students return from school holidays.
The real test will begin when students return from school holidays.Photo: Nick Moir

Transport Minister Andrew Constance encouraged the public to plan their trips, and avoid peak travel periods if they could.

“There are going to be some challenges in terms of congestion in and around the Macquarie Park precinct – everyone knows that,” he said.

“We are well prepared for those 20,000 commuters who will no longer have a passenger train service between Epping to Chatswood. Everyone needs to be aware of this change.”

As well as the university, Macquarie Park is home to the second-biggest business precinct in Sydney after the city centre. Large companies such as Optus, Sony and Microsoft have thousands of staff between them based at their offices there.

“We know it’s a congested part of the city now. We know that as a result of this closure people may opt for their cars. I would urge people to use public transport,” Mr Constance said.



Under the plans for alternative transport, a dedicated fleet of 124 pink-painted buses dubbed “Station Link” will run on seven routes at least every six minutes during peak periods.

They will include high frequency services from Epping train station to Macquarie University during semesters.

Mr Constance said people would need to allow for extra time of up to 20 minutes for their journeys but for some there would be reductions in travel times because of changes to the broader rail network.

The pink buses will replace trains during the seven-month shutdown.
The pink buses will replace trains during the seven-month shutdown.Photo: Nick Moir


The start of the line’s closure has been timed to coincide with the start of the school holidays, when traffic volumes are lighter, in a bid to iron out any problems.

Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said the completion of road works at Macquarie Park to improve traffic flows were running to schedule and she did not expect them to interfere with the shutdown.

“It has been a challenge getting all of that work done in time for this period,” she said.

Mrs Pavey said road officials would be keeping a close eye on major thoroughfares, and adjustments to the timing of traffic lights would be made to improve the flow of vehicles. Extra police would also be put on, and Station Link staff wearing distinctive pink clothing would be on hand to assist commuters adjust to the changes.

The impact of the shutdown will flow through to Sydney’s broader public transport network.

Trains that previously ran between Hornsby and Sydney’s CBD via Macquarie Park and the North Shore Line will be replaced by limited-stop services via Strathfield on the T1 Northern Line.

That means more trains will start or end at Central Station during peak periods, forcing commuters to switch trains if they intend to travel onto CBD stations such as Town Hall or Wynyard.

Matt O’Sullivan is the Transport Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.




SYDNEY METRO BILL VOTES … in the Lower House …


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In the lower House, Wednesday 2nd May – and off to the upper House for its’ first reading the very same day.

Liberals/Nationals voted for this – including the part that would allow the Acquisition of private property for re-development.

Labor and Greens voted NO.


For extracts from Jodie McKay’s speech in response!





METRO BILL PASSED … screenshot of the Vote

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May 2018

SCREEN SHOT of the vote – but as spread over two pages – unfortunately not all names of the noes are in the shot.

However, those who have voted contrary to the interests of the Sydney community – the AYES – are here on display!






STRATEGIC MATTERS …the home of the Strategic Week

Sydney Metro’s commercialised future


What if the NSW government set up a new state-owned business corporation and handed it sweeping powers that duplicated those of several established authorities, including the power to prepare strategic plans, buy, develop and sell land, run other businesses (including bus services) and, incidentally, manage a railway system?

Well, this isn’t a hypothetical question, as the government has just pushed the Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill 2018 through parliament. The legislation, which passed yesterday with little fanfare, amends the Transport Administration Act 1988 to constitute the Sydney Metro as a corporation. It also creates the Sydney Metro Board to run the new entity, which can undertake all the activities outlined above.

Why has the government done this? Setting up a government-owned corporation to oversee the development and operation of a privately-operated metro is not so surprising for a Coalition Government, but why give this new body a range of powers that goes well beyond ensuring the metro trains run on time?

Not surprisingly the opposition thinks it has the answer – the metro is being “fattened” for privatisation, a claim the government strenuously denies. However, the government may have another agenda for the Metro, one which may prove to be even more controversial.

 Sydney Metro: open for business

The legislation starts with a clear commercial focus. The “orderly and efficient development of land” near metro stations, depots and stabling yards is given equal top billing as a key objective alongside the delivery of “safe and reliable metro passenger services”.

The rest of the objectives follow this trend. The Metro is to be a successful business, operated “at least as efficiently as any comparable business” with the aim of maximising the “net worth of the State’s investment in the metro”. This imperative is leavened with requirements that the Metro is to “exhibit a sense of social responsibility” and have a “regard to the interests of the community” while conducting operations “in compliance with the principles of ecologically sustainable development”.

The functions listed in the bill (Section 38B) cast the Metro’s net even wider. Clause 3(a) for example allows the Metro to conduct any business even if its unrelated to its functions, as long as it “will further its objectives” – which would seem to indicate that the new Sydney Metro Board will be able to do just about anything it likes. Almost to emphasise this commercial and operational freedom, clause 3(b) states that the metro can operate other transport services “including bus services”, whether these are connected to the metro or not.

Other parts of clause 3 also give the Metro the right to “build, modify, hold, manage, maintain, finance and establish” transport and metro assets. These rights extend to the assets of other public transport agencies; Sydney Metro can also dispose of any assets, other than the metro itself.

Clause 4 gives the Metro authority to acquire, develop, lease or sell land, while section 38D greatly expands on the Metro’s role as a property developer. It’s worth quoting part of clause 1:

Sydney Metro may carry out, finance, manage or otherwise participate in development for residential, retail, commercial, industrial, mixed use, community, public open space or recreational purposes on land in the locality of a metro station, depot or stabling yard, or a proposed metro station, depot or stabling yard….

Division 4 of the bill covers the composition and role of the Sydney Metro Board. Up to seven directors will be appointed by the Minister for Transport, with one appointed by the Transport Secretary. This division also provides for the appointment of the Board’s Chair and CEO. Division 5 permits the Board to appoint advisory committees and also requires it to prepare an annual corporate plan which must be made available in draft form for public comment.

The completed plan is also to be made public, though the Metro is not required to make available commercially sensitive information unless required do so under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. The rest of the bill comprises largely procedural amendments to the Act. An interesting exception is the creation of a Sydney Metro Fund to be administered by the Board.

The political response

It’s also worth looking briefly at the debate in parliament. In his speech introducing the bill, Transport Minister Andrew Constance stressed the benefits the new corporate structure would bring in terms of delivering services and carrying out “the orderly and efficient revitalisation of land” around metro assets. He also claimed that the Sydney Metro Board would have the expertise “to maximise Government’s already significant investment in the metro and future growth”. Constance also stated:

Establishing the Sydney Metro as a dedicated statutory corporation is a demonstration of this Government’s commitment to delivering world-class, customer centred transport services to meet the needs of the community, both now and into the future.

However, the Minister largely failed to explain why the new corporation needed to be a property developer or to run enterprises (including bus services) unrelated to the metro. Nobody from the government in either house was able to provide a convincing rationale for providing the new corporation with such a strong commercial focus.

In her reply to the Minister opposition MLA Jodi McKay said the government had “one agenda, and one agenda only: privatisation”. Along with other opposition and cross bench speakers she questioned the necessity of creating a corporation with such sweeping powers, comparing it to the government’s strategy in setting up the Sydney Motorways Corporation and then putting 51 percent of it on the market. McKay said:

Why does this Sydney Metro authority, this Sydney Metro Board, this statutory corporation need the ability to buy or lease land? It needs it because the Minister is fattening the pig for market. If you buy that land and put it within the statutory corporation—hey presto!—you have a big corporation, a big agency, that has bus services and can develop land, and it is in legislation. This means that the Government will try to push this legislation through today because it needs to start work so that, if it wins the next election, it can then sell the Sydney Metro.

 Privatising Sydney Metro – or another agenda?

It is tempting to agree with the state opposition’s assessment of the legislation, especially given the government’s failure to specify why Sydney Metro is being given such broad commercial powers. There is little that the Metro cannot now do as long as its activities support its role as a “successful business”.

It is also true that the government has form in this area, with the partial sale of the Sydney Motorways Corporation, another recently-created arms-length body being put forward as “Exhibit A”. There is also the Transport Minister’s statement that in the future governments won’t need to deliver transport services as the private sector will do a better job.

The broadening of Sydney Metro’s mandate would certainly increase its value if privatisation is contemplated. As many metro systems overseas have shown the real money is likely to be made not in the sale of train tickets but in the ability to redevelop land in the vicinity of train stations. If the Metro has the right to plan these developments and then invest in them – and in doing so can bypass other government agencies which would otherwise have control – it would be able to capture the resulting uplift of property prices, thus turning it into a much more attractive package for sale.

However, privatisation may not be the government’s real goal, even in the long term. While the legislation makes the Metro a more sellable item it also turns it into a new model of streamlined and corporatised quasi-government agency. What if this has been the government’s intent all along?

The government now has a body that will be able to offset much of the cost of future metro construction through property development, capitalising on its advantages as a notional state agency that can operate with limited public scrutiny. As its capital base increases it will be able to make more investment in its own right and become self-sustaining. The government could then start to transfer other government services – for example, bus services (as mentioned in the legislation) – to Sydney Metro.

Inevitably these services would themselves become commercialised, further reducing the cost to government. Over time the government could either continue to transfer other services to the Sydney Metro or alternatively set up new corporations covering other areas of government operation.

In other words, the value to the current government may lie not in selling off the Sydney Metro, but rather in retaining it as a mechanism and model to drive the corporatisation and commercialisation of the rest of the public sector. Many would regard this as a being a much more concerning outcome than even the impact of privatisation.








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The legislation here may well explain Ryan Park, Shadow Treasurer’s statement on TV a few weeks back.

Perhaps it was in relation to this? He said words to the effect of – ‘they will sell the land out from under you … ”

It still has to get through the Upper House … however sadly for us Fred Nile often it seems rolls over for the Government having negotiated for what he wants … Ditto the Shooters and Fishers …

With the number of Liberals/Nationals in the Lower House and the tight numbers in the Upper House – is it any wonder that we get such appalling Legislation and Regulations?

The first 30 pages of Hansard can be described as gobsmacking as to the potential impacts … that will have far reaching consequences …

COPIED here parts of Jodi McKay’s speech; the full speech is worth a read.

The debate on this starts on page 1 of the document.


Wednesday, 2 May 2018



Second Reading Debate

Debate resumed from 10 April 2018.

Ms JODI McKAY (Strathfield) (10:13):

“I lead for the Opposition in debate on the Transport

Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill 2018. This bill establishes the Sydney Metro Delivery Office as a standalone transport agency and statutory corporation. In reading the Minister’s second reading speech, one would be forgiven for thinking that this was all the bill did, but it does so much more than the Minister has revealed in this House, which is why Labor will oppose this bill.

I listened closely to the Minister’s second reading speech but I did not hear the real reason for introducing the bill. He noted that the Sydney Metro Delivery Office has been working successfully as part of Transport for NSW since 2011.

Why the need for change? There is one agenda, and one agenda only: privatisation.

In his second reading speech the Minister did not say that this agency will be a developer, in that land near a station can be turned into any form of development, including residential high-rise or retail. He also did not say that this agency will be able to deliver bus services that may not even be connected to the metro. He did not say that the path he is taking is one that follows almost to the letter the path that the Government took to sell off WestConnex and to create the secretive Sydney Motorway Corporation.”

And further on …….

”I remind the House that before there was the shady secretive Sydney Motorway Corporation, the Government established the WestConnex Delivery Authority to oversee the construction, financing and management of the motorway. The WestConnex Delivery Authority was a public subsidiary corporation within Roads and Maritime Services.

Back then the Minister for Roads trumpeted how the WestConnex Delivery Authority board offers “market leading construction finance and engineering capabilities”—in the same the way that, according to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, the Sydney Metro will have an “expertise based board”.

The WestConnex Authority board of directors reported directly to the Minister for Roads, just as the new Sydney Metro Board will report to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. In considering the bill, it is important to note that the WestConnex Delivery Authority did not last. It currently does not exist, and I will guarantee that the Sydney Metro will not exist.

The Minister is seeking the privatisation of all public transport in this State. The Minister has said that that is his philosophy. Every action he is taking is about privatising public transport.”

And further on ……

“A year after the Government established the shady and secretive Sydney Motorway Corporation to manage procurement and project delivery functions, it closed the WestConnex Delivery Authority and transferred every single one of the authority’s functions to the Sydney Motorway Corporation.

Now, as I said, the Government is finalising the sale of 51 per cent of the Sydney Motorway Corporation. It is effectively privatising the Sydney Motorway Corporation and WestConnex.

The Sydney Motorway Corporation is a private company. It is constituted under the Corporations Act so it is not subject to the accountability mechanisms of government, and it is not accountable to freedom of information laws.

That is concerning. It means that anyone, including me, who tries to conduct a search on WestConnex under the Government Information (Public Access) Act will meet with a blank wall.

This Government has created a secretive organisation that is not accountable to this Parliament.

However, shortly we will be debating my private member’s bill in this Parliament and that bill seeks to return those accountability mechanisms to the Sydney Motorway Corporation.”

And further on

“The bill allows for the SYDNEY METRO to enter into passenger service agreements, including bus services.

Why would the Sydney Metro corporation, which this bill seeks to establish, want to operate bus services?

The bill states that these bus services do not have to be connected to the operations of the Sydney Metro.

This deceitful and appalling inclusion in the bill effectively gives the new Sydney Metro corporation the ability to take over any and all bus services in this State.

We all know what Minister Constance is about, because we have seen it with the inner west buses. The Government is seeking to set up a Sydney Metro agency to operate bus services.

Bus services have nothing to do with the Sydney Metro, yet in this bill the Minister is ensuring that it will be able to operate bus services—and bus services not connected to the metro. That is what the bill states”

“Why does this Sydney Metro authority, this Sydney Metro Board, this statutory corporation need the ability to buy or lease land?

It needs it because the Minister is fattening the pig for market. If you buy that land and put it within the statutory corporation—hey presto!—you have a big corporation, a big agency, that has bus services and can develop land, and it is in legislation.

This means that the Government will try to push this legislation through today because it needs to start work so that, if it wins the next election, it can then sell the Sydney Metro.

This new Sydney Metro agency can finance, manage and develop land for residential, retail, commercial, industrial or mixed-use development. It is just another attempt by this Government to deceive the community.

Why on earth would this agency, purported to deliver Sydney Metro services, want to build high-rise development or a shopping centre? Why did the Minister not tell us that when he walked into this House to deliver his second reading speech?

Now we have UrbanGrowth NSW, Landcom, the Department of Planning and Environment and the Greater Sydney Commission, all of which are about land development—and guess what?

Now we will have a new authority, a new agency, that can develop land and it is called the Sydney Metro. What a deceitful thing the Minister has done in bringing this bill to this House.

The Government has been incredibly quiet on its plans for development around stations. This is first time that we are finding that the Sydney Metro agency will not only operate passenger metro services but will in fact be a developer of high-rise residential buildings and retail shopping centres.

It is yet another concerning and controversial aspect of this bill that the Minister chose not to disclose when he gave his second reading speech in the last sitting week.

If he were honest with the community—and we know, time and again, that this Minister is not—he would have laid the facts on the table and said, “This is what we intend to do.”


BUT he has hidden that intention and instead given a second reading speech that is full of all of his achievements and how great this infrastructure-spending and infrastructure-building Government is. What a crock that is!

That means that, for the first time in a bill, an agency will be released from having to comply with the Government Information (Public Access) Act—GIPA Act—rules for corporate plans. That is just ridiculous; it is purely about hiding information.

After the Desane verdict in the Supreme Court – what does this mean for their stinking legislation?

Will they re-work the Legislation to try get around the Supreme Court ruling?

That means that, for the first time in a bill, an agency will be released from having to comply with the Government Information (Public Access) Act—GIPA Act—rules for corporate plans. That is just ridiculous; it is purely about hiding information.








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IT appears this is about completing the circle … about expanding Public Transport with a privatised Metro …

The LNP have sold off our Heavy Rail Network from Chatswood to Epping to Hong Kong Consortium apartment developer MTR; extending the line out to Rouse Hill; having decreased the size of the tunnels to prevent access by double deck trains; to develop high-rise towers en route.

DITTO for Sydenham to Bankstown Line.

“We have seen that the plan for the Sydney to Bankstown line to be ripped up and replaced by a metro has all to do with over development and nothing to do with expanding public transport.

This bill gives open slather to the Government to forcibly acquire people’s homes for property development. This is not value capture, this is HIGHWAY ROBBERY.”



Posted on 02/05/2018

Greens NSW will oppose the Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill 2018.

Greens NSW MP and Transport, Roads and Ports Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has raised alarm over further fragmentation of the public transport network and the broad land development powers being given to Sydney Metro Authority through this legislation.

Dr Faruqi said:

“The creation of a separate Sydney Metro Authority is a further fragmentation of our public transport network, and yet another indication of this Liberal-National Government’s intent on privatising and selling off our public transport piece by piece.

“The far-reaching mandate for Sydney Metro Authority to forcibly acquire and develop land for commercial and residential uses is a cause for serious alarm. Sydney Metro Authority is set be a property developer that also runs trains.

“We have seen that the plan for the Sydney to Bankstown line to be ripped up and replaced by a metro has all to do with over development and nothing to do with expanding public transport. This bill gives open slather to the Government to forcibly acquire people’s homes for property development. This is not value capture, this is highway robbery.

“This bill essentially creates Sydney Metro as a competing body for Transport for NSW, undermining its specified role as a coordinator of policy and services across all modes of transport. This is another blow to any hope of integrated transport planning in our State.

“The fact that Sydney Metro can completely bypass Transport for NSW and the Planning Department goes against the most elementary principles of proper and holistic planning, which should be done in engagement with all stakeholders and departments,” she concluded.







November 6 2015


Transport Minister Andrew Constance was unapologetic about the fewer seats, emphasising that “ultimately this is the very nature of metro-style trains”.
“This is what metro systems do. This is a turn up and go, high frequency service – there is a train every four minutes,” he said.

DOES this sound like “policy by decree”?

DOES it sound like they don’t care?

HERE CAAN gives a background to why it is NSW NOW … the New State of Business is :

-cutting our Public Rail services

-privatising our public rail services;

-overlooked a superior French train

-to utilise a metro train that will only seat a third of its passengers for distances far in excess of their use overseas.

It all appears to tie in with The Greater Sydney Commission which has been created so developers don’t have to go through Councils. Hence the imminent overdevelopment and high density for railway corridors.


The Metro will travel from Rouse Hill through the North West and comes out at Epping and across to Chatswood.

This train will only seat a third of its passengers; to offset this the Government advises there will be a train every four minutes.

From a reliable commentator CAAN has been advised this train is based on the model that is used elsewhere in the World however they don’t travel the distance they are expected to travel here in Sydney of 60Km or more!

The alternative train to a single deck train was a French double deck train with three sets of doors and did not present the problems that we are told that are preventing the installation of more seats in these carriages.

The French trains travel at the same speed; are very economical and very efficient. Despite this the French never got a look in; unfortunately the Hong Kong Consortium got the nod.

The main issue here is that these trains do not provide seating; they are a short haul train, and that is why they don’t need the seating in Europe and Asia whereas here in Sydney they are going from Rouse Hill to Bankstown (70Km) or even from Rouse Hill to the city (52Km).

Passengers will have to change at Chatswood.

This link provides more information:

If a passenger boards a train at Rouse Hill they are expected to change trains. At the present time they will change trains at Chatswood to go to the city.

The plan is that the train will travel from Rouse Hill to Epping to Chatswood ; under the Harbour through to Central and out to Bankstown a minimum distance of 70Km.

Rouse Hill/Epping 24Km; Epping/Chatswood 13Km; Chatswood/Central 15Km; Central/Bankstown 18Km.

What do you suppose is the reason for extending the North West Rail Link out to Bankstown?

This link spells out why – an extra 36,000 new dwellings over the next 20 years as part of the State Government’s urban renewal project – that’s why!

DESPITE the report in “The Conversation” …

The Baird Government appears to continue to pander to the developer lobby for highrise development.

What is it all about? A reflection of where they are at. Ideologically driven to accommodate their friends in wealthy places.

The Greater Sydney Commission has been created so developers don’t have to go through Councils.

The proposed Greater Sydney Commission Bill 2015 will give greater power to the Commission and the Minister!

(It’s getting worse by the day, isn’t it?)

Once an Urban Renewal Area is approved – as with Bankstown to Sydenham landowners and developers can get land rezoned through the State Government. This proposed Bill appears to shift powers into an unaccountable body under Ministerial direction.

Read more:

Transport Minister Andrew Constance unveils first glimpse of Sydney’s new metro driverless train

WELCOME to the future of Sydney public transport — sleek, fast, driverless trains that can carry up to 45,000 passengers per hour in what politicians say will revolutionise travel.

Minister for Transport Andrew Constance today unveiled the first glimpse of Sydney’s new metro train, with a life-size train model delivered for customer testing on Sydney Metro Northwest.

The 13-tonne life-size train model has been delivered to the Showground Station site in Castle Hill and is a full-scale version of about 75 per cent of the front carriage.

The life-sized model gave commuters an idea of what the trains will look like.

“This is a glimpse of tomorrow’s Sydney,” Mr Constance said. “This is the game changer that’s going to revolutionise train travel across the entire network.

“We know with the advent of metro we’re going to see a world class train delivered right through the heart of Sydney, all the way from the northwest to Bankstown, travelling through the city, with new stations at Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt St and Central.”

A key part of the new train is the platform screen door technology, which keeps people and objects away from tracks and allows trains to get in and out of stations much faster.

Inside, customers will be able to see from one end of the train to the other and it will have padded fabric covers on the seating — unlike many metros, which have hard plastic or stainless steel seats.

The new Sydney Metro train won’t have a driver.
It will be able to move 45,000 passengers per hour.

There will also be space for prams, luggage and bicycles as well as wheelchair spaces and separate priority seating for those with reduced mobility.

Mr Constance said it would be a metro train on par with the great cities of the world.

“To give you some comparisons, the existing train network can move 24,000 passengers an hour. The new metro system can move 45,000 passengers an hour,” he said.

“This is going to be innovative, it’s world class. We’re going to see driverless trains in Sydney.”


First look at Sydney Metro driverless train

Sydney Metro Northwest project director Rodd Staples said the life-size train model will be tested over coming weeks with a range of people including school groups, parents with prams, the less mobile as well as emergency services and engineers.

Customers can have their say on internal features like seating, safety, customer information, lighting, and the grab poles, with the feedback taken on board before the new trains go into full production next year.

Epping MP Damien Tudehope, Minister Andrew Constance and Castle Hill MP Ray Williams unveil the new train.

“It’s all about getting the best customer outcome,” he said.

Mr Staples each train will have six carriages, carrying up to 1100 people, with more than 30 per cent finding seats.

The Sydney Metro Northwest will be open to customers in the first half of 2019, delivering a train every four minutes in peak times.

To have your say on the train’s colour choice visit