Sydney METRORAIL helps rich investors, not home buyers

Two recent articles in the SMH should alarm Sydneysiders when read together: the piece on the latest “push-polling” propaganda in relation the Sydney METRORAIL project and that on the growing gap between Sydney’s haves and have-nots (“Residents group accuses Sydney Metro of push-poll“, “Divide between rich and poor increasing“, February 6).

The Sydney METRORAIL‘s development relies on a Hong Kong business model, which depends on rich investors keen to buy new property around stations for a premium. Sadly, this means the vast majority of new housing stock in Sydney (for the next decade), will be out of reach for the vast majority trying to buy into the market. If Gladys Berejiklian wants to help housing affordability, then it’s time to stop the wasteful multi-billion-dollar Sydney METRORAIL experiment in its tracks – at Epping.

The mode is just too damn expensive – it will cost us the egalitarian Australian way of life. At the very least, it’s too expensive for an Australia where all have the ability to afford a home.

There is no need for an expensive Epping to Chatswood or Bankstown Line conversion, it’s a waste. Transport for NSW requires only two modes of rail carriage to get Sydney moving: our suburban double-deck, heavy rail carriages (a Sydney invention we should all be proud of) and the low-deck but versatile European-styled light rail transit.

The money we save by sticking with these two modes can be re-invested into new track extensions where they are really needed.

A modest fiscal investment in a new state-of-the-art signalling system would allow both these modes to compete with Sydney METRORAIL when it comes to its so-called speed and capacity benefits. Most important, both outrank Metro when it comes to seating.

Nathan English
EcoTransit Sydney
Republished from Letters to Editor
Sydney Morning Herald


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