Turnbull’s fast train plan for Sydney slammed

Public transport enthusiast Malcolm Turnbull has flagged the government’s commitment to a fast rail link to Sydney’s second airport.

LABOR will believe Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s promise to deliver a fast rail link to western Sydney when they see it.

Opposition transport spokesman Anthony Albanese has slammed the government’s pledge to build a train line to Badgerys Creek airport, declaring it “an aspiration, not policy”.

“The government has had almost three years to deliver more than an aspiration,” he told news.com.au.

“Mr Turnbull says there is no route, no funding commitment, no timeline or even identification of funding sources and he has not said that it will be open by 2026.”

The Prime Minister has for the first time declared his commitment to a fast rail link to Sydney’s second airport planned for Badgerys Creek, a policy measure which Labor says it has been committed to for months.

Anthony Albanese is not convinced. Picture: Gary Ramage

Anthony Albanese is not convinced. Picture: Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia

The train line would also act as a commuter solution for western Sydney, Australia’s fastest growing region.

In a speech to be delivered today, Mr Turnbull will pledged the federal government’s commitment to take the lead in the rail link’s construction.

“We are committed to the Western Sydney Airport, one of the most significant pieces of infrastructure that will ever be built here,” an extract of the speech published in the Daily Telegraph reads.

“In the longer term there is no question that for the Western Sydney Airport to be successful and world class, as it must be, it will need transport connections to the rest of the city and region.

“Under the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, jointly funded by my government and the NSW government, it will be well connected by roads when it opens.

“But roads are not enough. World class airports share a common ingredient: fast and convenient public transport.”

Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t mind a train ride, but he hasn’t committed to a date to take one out to Badgerys Creek. Picture: Scott Fletcher

Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t mind a train ride, but he hasn’t committed to a date to take one out to Badgerys Creek. Picture: Scott FletcherSource:News Corp Australia

Mr Turnbull has not yet committed to a time frame for the rail link’s construction.

“Neither the Australian nor the NSW government can commit today to completing a rail connection by 2026, there is too little known about the route, the cost, the value created and the sources of funding.

“So we will ask the question: What do we need to do to get rail there by the time the airport opens in 2026? Or if not, how soon afterwards?”

Federal Major Projects Minister Paul Fletcher last week said passenger numbers would not justify the need for a fast rail line when the second airport opened in 2025.

“Passenger numbers are expected to be modest, at around five million a year. This level of traffic will not be sufficient to justify a rail connection. From the day it opens, though, the airport will have excellent road connectivity,” he said.

Mr Albanese told news.com.au he was “pleased that the Turnbull Government has reversed its position of last week”.

The announcement comes as the possibility of an early election looms, and has already been flagged as the start of Turnbull’s “electioneering”.

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