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Published on : Thursday, November 14, 2013
The release of the EIS and Business Case for the CBD and South East Light Rail includes new evidence that the project will be a major economic windfall for Sydney, according to peak national industry group, Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said that the project’s benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 2.5 is at the high end of the range for transport projects and shows that the O’Farrell government has made the right call in backing this project.
“Light rail will transform George Street and dramatically improve the ease with which people can get from one end of the CBD to the other. Its link to the south east will deliver enormous benefits to the Moore Park sport and entertainment precinct, UNSW, Royal Randwick and the Prince of Wales medical precinct,” said Mr Morrison.
“The EIS will help clarify the impact of the project on traffic within the CBD.
“There is no doubt that getting this project right will require exceptional planning, both during construction and operation. What the EIS demonstrates is that there is the potential to deliver light rail while maintaining travel times for general traffic.
“For the tourism industry, light rail will connect the CBD’s most important gateway, Circular Quay with the rest of the city by way of a modern, quiet and attractive light rail network. It will also revitalise George Street, providing the city a main street it can be proud of.
“For CBD workers and Sydney residents light rail will mean better public transport options in the CBD, a rationalised bus network, better pedestrian access within the city and new links for those living and working in the south east. It will also make it easier to get to the cricket, football and races.
“There is no doubt that building a project of this nature will be hard and there will be some areas affected by its construction. What is important is that we don’t lose sight of the enormous gains the project will deliver to Sydney. Too often we scare off our politicians by focusing on the short-term pain involved in delivering the big projects our city needs to keep moving and growing.”