Ms JODI McKAY ( Strathfield ) (9 August 2017, 21:02 ): I have spoken many times in this House about the development and infrastructure issues facing my community. Once again I feel compelled to bring North Strathfield to the attention of this House because it is a real concern for my community. It is not a large area and is tucked between the rail line, Sydney Olympic Park and Parramatta Road. The area faces enormous uncertainty because the Government has failed to make a decision on transport connections and infrastructure. That has led to a lack of clarity on rezoning which in turn has led to anxiety for residents who are unsure whether their neighbourhood will stay the same or change. This uncertainty also impacts on whether residents decide to stay or leave.
Although I have spoken a number of times about the issues confronting North Strathfield, recent developments have convinced me that I must once again bring these issues to the attention of the transport Minister and the planning Minister. The difficulties of these communities began with the construction of WestConnex which led the Government to transform, so it said, Parramatta Road and the Parramatta Road transformation plan was created. The plan proposed significant growth in areas such as North Strathfield. I was willing to give the Government the benefit of the doubt that this plan would better my community. However, no change whatsoever has taken place on Parramatta Road. Instead, the people of North Strathfield are confused. This week it was uncovered that the transformation of Parramatta Road was never the objective of Government. Development was always its objective.
I discovered that in the months before this plan was released, UrbanGrowth commissioned a report which showed that there could be $65 billion in development in this area which would generate $1.35 billion in stamp duty, $644 million in value capture, and section 94 contributions of approximately $5 21 million. I have spent six months trying to get this report released through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. It shows that development, stamp duty and section 94 contributions were the drivers for this project, not the transformation of Parramatta Road. Nothing has changed on Parramatta Road since this plan was released. As part of that original plan, the Government then proposed light rail from Parramatta through Olympic Park into Strathfield. This was welcomed by all. The Government's inability to finalise the route was causing uncertainty for developers and UrbanGrowth was forced to finalise its Parramatta Road plan.
There is much uncertainty for my community. The situation is more confusing as the days progress because we now know the Government is looking at Metro West. I support Metro West. Improvements in rail should be made in Western Sydney but the Government is moving too slowly. Metro West will not be delivered until the late 2020s. Then there is the recent announcement made by the planning Minister of the Greater Parramatta Priority Growth Area. That also identifies some 12 precincts. We now know that the Homebush precinct, which was part of the Parramatta Road transformation plan, is now within the Parramatta Road priority growth precinct plan. The Minister has not told us what has changed. I can only presume that nothing has changed. The population figures are the same and the dwelling intensity is the same. However, one thing is different. A little map displaying the precincts outlines a rail line from Parramatta through Olympic Park to North Strathfield, makes a turn and comes into Strathfield. I have a sneaking suspicion that the rail line is not supposed to be on that map.
However, there is still terrible uncertainty for my community. The business case for light rail is now three months late and the plans for Metro West are a long way off. In the meantime, the residents of North Strathfield have to put up with this uncertainty and the construction of WestConnex. The North Strathfield railway station also has no lift access, and because of the uncertainty the Government will do nothing about it. There are no plans for the congested Underwood Road and no plans for George Street. These projects are in complete paralysis. I ask both Ministers to provide my community with some certainty by revealing the transport connections and the rezoning plans for this area and they must do that as a matter of urgency.