The Baird Government is facing a revolt from within the Liberal Party over its management of the Northwest Metro Rail Line (NWRL) project with Senior Liberal figures slamming the Government’s lack of consultation.
Senior Liberal Party figure and Mayor of the City of Ryde, Bill Pickering, has raised concerns that the Government has failed to consult the community and businesses about the shutdown of the community’s rail line during construction of the NWRL.
The existing Epping to Chatswood rail line is expected to be closed while it is converted into a metro line yet residents and local businesses have been left in limbo while they wait for an exact date for the shutdown.
In a recent Mayoral Minute Mr Pickering broke party ranks and voiced the council’s concerns about the project by stating:
Council remain concerned at the lack of information and certainty of when these works will be put in place.
Businesses and council staff are becoming concerned on the lack of information currently being made available.
The comments from Mr Pickering follow a report from Optus which said the Government must provide a set date for the line’s closure to minimise the impacts to productivity at Macquarie Business Park.
The report from Optus warns that “the closure of the Epping-Chatswood corridor during the completion of the NWRL is a real threat to the Parks’ productivity” and called for a set date of shutdown.
Macquarie Business Park and Macquarie University will both be impacted during the shutdown with students and staff alike forced to take other transport options.
Despite the concerns from both Liberal Party councilors and Australia’s business community the Government has failed to provide a clear timeframe for the rail line’s closure.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay MP
“The Baird Government stopped listening to the concerns of the community a long time ago; now they’ve even stopped listening to their Liberal Party colleagues.
“The Government’s veil of secrecy on every project is so far reaching it’s even causing senior Liberal figureheads to speak out.
“It’s clear that the community is anxious about the impacts of the rail line’s closure. Instead of easing their fears the Government has met residents and businesses with a wall of silence.
“Mr Baird and his Transport Minister Andrew Constance need to set a date for the line’s closure and re-opening dates to allow businesses enough time to prepare themselves for the transport changes.”
Quotes attributable to Labor Councilor for the West Ward Jerome Laxale
"Residents and businesses have waited long enough for answers. Premier Mike Baird is either hiding the truth or has stopped listening to the community.
"The business community in Macquarie Park and the local residents of Ryde deserve better than Mr Baird taking them for granted."