Sydney Metro West funding unveiled 

04 March 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

The NSW Coalition government will sink AUD 6.4bn (USD 4.5bn) into Sydney Metro West if it wins this months’ state election, it said on Sunday (3 March). 

Construction is now due to start next year – about a year earlier than originally planned – on the huge project, which will transport commuters about 26km from the western suburb of Parramatta to the city centre in about 20 minutes.
 
The ‘turn up and go’ service running every two minutes “is the train line that 3m people will need…with the T1 train line to be at full capacity in the next 15 years,” transport minister Andrew Constance told reporters. 
 
He would not confirm the final price tag on the Metro West project. It has previously been estimated at around AUD 16bn. 
 
The project is proving a key battleground between the government and the main Labor opposition party for crucial votes in Western Sydney in the lead up to the 23 March state election, with the latter promising to build it quicker if it wins power.
 
So far Labor has promised to spend AUD 8bn on the line, although part of that would come from a future federal Labor government that has to win the federal election due in May first.
 
“Unlike Labor we’re putting the money in…we’re not waiting around for fictitious federal funds,” Constance said of Labor’s plans.
 
“We’re able to do this because we have no debt,” he added. Constance also cited Labor’s plan to conduct parliamentary inquiries into infrastructure projects worth more than AUD 1bn and planning approvals, which, he claims, will take three to four years before it can actually give Sydney Metro West the go-ahead.
 
How Metro West will be procured is still unclear. As reported, the Gladys Berejiklian government is planning to split the project up into several packages to make it digestible as a potential PPP.
 
“The final contracting strategy will be decided by Sydney Metro in the next term of government and will be consistent with the government’s ten point commitment to the construction sector,” a spokesperson from the department of transport told Inframation.
 
More than 230 organisations registered to provide feedback early last year on packaging, contracting and transaction process options.
 
The first iteration of Sydney Metro – Metro Northwest – was largely procured as a PPP. A decision on whether to extend part of this PPP, including the rolling stock, with new financing onto the second phase, Metro City & South West, is due to be decided this month.
 
The consortium that won the Northwest PPP, Northwest Rapid Transit consortium (NRT) – including MTR Corporation, CIMIC, John Holland and Plenary Group – submitted an “augmentation” contract for City & Southwest in October, as reported.
 
In December, the Sydney Metro Delivery Office signed a “contract finalisation deed” with NRT, but a final decision on whether to go ahead is still being considered.